Sixth-graders at Verner Elementary School in Verona are putting their math and creativity skills to work in an attempt to redesign a borough park.
The 6th grade math students have been working on a Connected Mathematics unit called “Covering and Surrounding”. In the unit, students learned how to find the area and perimeter of shapes—triangles, squares, rectangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, and circles.
Teacher Ashlee Cosentino was able to use a STEAM grant this year (an initiative to combine science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) to incorporate a project-based learning activity for the students.
"To engage students in the project, I made it relatable and realistic to the world they live in," she said.
Students were given the task of expanding and redesigning Cribbs Field, which is just up the street from Verner.
"Cribbs Field is a popular park in Verona that many students hang out at daily," Cosentino said. "Although great in many ways, Cribbs is starting to become outdated and lacks a few essential elements.
"The ball was literally in their court. They did not have to worry about cost or land, they just needed to design a park suitable for all ages in the Verona community."
Students had to follow guidelines, such as how many items minimum to include, a minimum area for the park, and at least one design of every shape they learned about. They researched the standard size of items in the park, calculated the perimeter of their objects and set a scale factor on a poster board to make their parks come to life—some students even made their parks 3D.
School staff voted on the Top 3 favorite designs, and those students will make a presentation to borough Mayor Dave Ricupero at the April 30 council meeting.
"The students thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and were able to see the 'why' in what we were learning," Cosentino said.
See the photo gallery to check out the Verner students' park projects!