Working with power tools, hammering nails and climbing ladders with your friends and classmates – what more could a 5th-grader want?
That’s what students at Lansdowne Elementary (Fayette County) got to play with during their Hammering Home Math event, where they helped build a small house with the help of the If I Had a Hammer organization.
“The goal is to teach children how STEM applies to real-life situations,” said Perry Wilson, the founder of If I Had a Hammer, an organization that uses construction to help students understand how to use math in a real-world setting. “I dropped out of school. I wasn’t able to read until I was an adult, and I wanted to make sure that kids grew up with a better understanding of things than I did.”
Wilson’s builds give students the chance to attach siding, windows and doors to a prefabricated house frame.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Jarris Scott, a 5th-grader at Lansdowne Elementary. “We got to focus on our teamwork and learn what you can accomplish by working together.”
Along with learning to use math and science, Wilson also talked to the students about how to conduct themselves in the future when they’re looking for jobs.
“I know not everyone here is going to go to college,” Wilson told a group of students sitting around with their hammers and safety goggles. “You also need to know how to act professionally for any type of job that you do.”
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) publishes Kentucky Teacher to communicate directly with the state’s 40,000 public school teachers. The stories of this award-winning publication include news, perspectives, and practical, workable ideas for guiding students to higher levels of achievement.