The Smyrna Campus of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) hosted the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce’s Teach Ready 2018 Summer Conference. The conference provides STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math) professional development from teachers who work with grades 3-12. Sessions are focused on helping students become the qualified workforce of the next generation.
Yesterday (Wednesday, May 30), one of the most engaging sessions was an “If I Had a Hammer” build. The “Hammer” program focuses on the language of math, particularly helping children understand fractions. Students manipulate blocks in the “Big Inch” in the classroom to correspond with math equations. But during the year, they apply the learning to building an 8-foot by 11-foot wood frame house in about two hours—included are windows, roof, porch, door, etc. During the Build, students tackle concepts such as area, perimeter, angles, and more. In addition, students learn teamwork, collaboration, communication, leadership, and safety as they operate drills and put the house together.
With support from the Rutherford Chamber, Murfreesboro City Schools has been involved with “If I Had a Hammer” for the past two years, with every fifth and sixth grade class building their own house in the Hobgood gym.