Mathematics in Architecture and Design
Adapted from Women Count in a Virtual Math Museum

Amira Abdal-Khallaq
teaches Algebra & Geometry at The English High School.

Students: Grade 10 Geometry class

Partners
Boston Architectural Center (BAC), Mark Gionini
Boston Architect, Santiago Rosas

Classroom Activities
Research relationship between mathematics, architecture & design
Become familiar with reading blueprints
Contact BAC to arrange visit
Learn about renovation plans for School Library
Discuss plans with local architect involved in renovation
Arrange to visit other school libraries & interview students about library needs
Plan to construct individual blueprints for proposed library designs
Community Activities
Visit & spend day at BAC
Participate in lesson on elements of design illustrated by architectural examples
Learn about Center’s Summer Architectural Program for high school students
Divide into groups for hands-on design projects
Participate in whole group discussion of finished projects
Propose to architect that students participate in ongoing renovation plans & design
Plan school Showcase of student designs
Teacher Reflections
Students asked many questions and were very engaged at BAC. The projects offered students excellent ways to learn about ratios, proportions, scale factor, measurements, and blueprints. They also participated in quality research, professionalism, and teamwork. They are beginning to understand and respond to the needs of their peers. . . . This Service Learning project became a two-step journey. Working with the architect on the school library renovation was an unexpected bonus that captured students’ interest and attention. . . . I realize that building relationships and partnerships with individuals in organizations is important. This is my first year teaching, and I am currently building relationships that will be stronger next year. Continued planning for the library renovation will directly link to this year’s achievements.
Student Reflections
What I remember most about BAC is that the teacher told us that true architecture reflects the creativity of the architect, and the best architectural pieces are those that are so creative that they almost seem unreal. . . . The teacher also informed us about a summer program available for high school students. It costs $900, but they have scholarships. I would like to participate next year so that I can see if this is the field I want to get into, and if the Boston Architectural Center is the school I want to attend. . . . I was happy that we met with the architect who will redesign English High’s library. This sounds like fun because, as students, we have lots of ideas. We use the library the most so we should know what is most needed. . . . I look forward to next year’s summer program, and I’m excited about the opportunity to work with an architect.

TeachNet Service Learning is administered by Boston Public Schools Affiliate IMPACT II @ High School Renewal.
Supporting TeachNet are Special Assistant to the Superintendent for High School Renewal, Kathleen Mullin; IMPACT II Affiliate Director Barbara Locurto; WebMaster Andrew Binns; Web Advisor Linda Younis, High School Renewal; and Project Assistant Jean Gibran. For more information, email blocurto@gmail.com.

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