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Algebra/Construction Technology course at Ponderosa High

This summer local High School students in need of credit recovery in Algebra had the opportunity to attend a pilot ROP Algebra/Construction Technology course at Ponderosa High School and Green Career Center in Ben Lomond and ROP Algebra/Bicycle Performance & Technology at Natural Bridges High School in Santa Cruz. Students were referred to Summer School by local districts, Scotts Valley, San Lorenzo Valley, and Santa Cruz City Schools to make up Algebra classes failed in the previous school year. ROP Instructor David Grant who teaches ROP Construction Technology and ROP Aquaculture at San Lorenzo Valley High School taught the course in Ben Lomond. Alternative Education Teacher Brian Thom and ROP Instructor Steve Hess taught the course in Santa Cruz.



The summer course combined Algebra and Geometry concepts with real world application that are necessary in the fields of Construction and Engineering. Students were naturally engaged because they had the opportunity to apply the Algebra and Geometry concepts they were learning using very basic computer skills, Computer Aided Drafting (Auto-CAD) and Sketch-Up 3-D modeling along with other hands-on activities in the woodshop and repair shop. Due to the subject integration, students were able to problem solve, design, create and manipulate 3 dimensional objects to get a better understanding of mathematical concepts that are much more difficult to understand in a lecture only environment. For example students learned ratios and proportions by studying how to use the architect's scale from a professional Landscape Architect.

Student feedback regarding the course was very positive; “I finally have a better understanding of my fractions” and “This class made learning Algebra way more fun.” Students also noted that learning Algebra and Geometry skills in combination with real world applications gave them a deeper understanding of Algebra and Geometry concepts and how these concepts are utilized in the real world.

Under the direction of Mark Hodges and Jim Howes of ROP and Carol Polhamus of Alternative Education, teaching staff includes David Grant, Brian Thom and Steve Hess.

Author: Laura Macondray

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