Sophomores Grace Boschert and Katie Godefroid did not have any construction experience when they signed up for Lafayette High's
Geometry in Construction (GIC) class. They were both visual learners intrigued by the chance to pair the concepts from math class with some hands-on building.
Six months in, you'd never know they were novices.
"We picked it up a lot faster than we expected," Boschert said.
Math teacher Patty Mabie and material processes teacher Curtis Ahlers lead the GIC class at Lafayette. For their main project this year, the students are building an entire kitchen playset for Our Little Haven, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that provides early intervention services for children and families in need.
The class started discussing the project in August and is at the point now where the bones of the playset are nearly complete. Next comes filling in the walls and painting. The students hope to be able to present the playset to Our Little Haven later this spring.
"Especially for these kids who really don't get to have everything they wish for, this is a big deal," Godefroid said. "They'll use the kitchen a lot, so making one that's high-quality is important."
The Lafayette GIC students volunteered themselves for tasks within the project, and they pitch in on other aspects as needed. Godefroid worked on countertops before moving to the stove, Boschert worked on the refrigerator and fellow sophomore Dylan Vorbeck has worked on the sink and stove, among other things.
"Things get passed around so we don't get bored just working on one thing all the time," said Vorbeck, who had construction experience before taking the class. "It's a good way to meet new people who have the same interests as you."
Rockwood School District Coordinator of STEM and Digital Learning Brian Reed said GIC classes around the district give high school students valuable opportunities to learn in different ways while practicing a trade.
"It helps them develop skills that could potentially open the doors for a number of careers," Reed said. "It's a really cool way to get those practical applications and critical skills developed which, if you look at any job market, that's what employers are looking for. The kids are our number-one priority, so whatever we can do to support their efforts in the classroom is phenomenal."