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Rockwood Summit Geometry in Construction Students Build Furniture for Local Nonprofit

March 17, 2023

 Four Rockwood students smile as they paint a bookshelf in their Geometry in Construction workshop.Students in Mike Brown and Gayle Piepho’s Rockwood Summit High Geometry in Construction (GIC) classes spent the month leading up to spring break sawing, sanding, assembling, painting and lacquering for a good cause.

The students constructed 16 pieces of furniture – bookshelves, end tables, dining room tables, nightstands, planter boxes and a picnic table – most of which will be donated to Brentwood-based nonprofit Home Sweet Home (HSH).

The mission of HSH is to give underserved families a sense of pride and to improve the quality of their lives by providing basic household furnishings. The nonprofit collects new or gently used furniture and other basic home furnishings, then works with case managers at more than 50 partner agencies to find families in need. The staff works closely with each family so they may choose every piece they will receive, then HSH delivers the items to the family’s home.

Brown and Piepho’s classes connected with HSH through Brian Reed, Rockwood School District’s coordinator of STEM and Digital Learning.

“We said we would absolutely help out,” Brown said. “It’s been great! The students really want to get feedback about their projects and know that they have been put to good use. We want them to learn that designing and building something for someone else can be just as rewarding as building something for yourself.”

Three students work on sanding a table outside of their Geometry in Construction workshop.GIC is a class offered at all four Rockwood high schools that offers hands-on learning experiences in which students apply geometry concepts to a variety of construction processes to see the connection between the two.

Students in GIC classes often undertake construction projects for local organizations: last year, students at Rockwood Summit built bunk beds for a local chapter of the national nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace. 

“It feels good to be able to accomplish something that helps out those who are less fortunate,” said freshman Ella Walsh.

Students controlled every step of the process in this project, from designing the pieces and taking measurements, to choosing and cutting the wood, to painting and coating the finished products.

Betsy Reznicek, executive director at HSH, said this is the first time her organization has partnered with students to produce items for donation.

“One of the things I love about Home Sweet Home is it really does take the community to come together to provide enough resources to be able to serve each family,” she said. “To think about the fact that there are students out there who are taking their time and talent to put together something that somebody is going to put in their home and use as part of their family memories is really special and a great way to connect people in the community.”Four Rockwood students lacquer a table in their Geometry in Construction workshop.