The Vacation Home

We went around and around looking for a problem for the students to solve. But then we found it: a vacation home.

Here was the challenge that the students would be given: the students had recently inherited some land from an uncle and they wanted to build a 1,000 square foot vacation home together with a couple of their friends. They needed to figure out how much money was needed to build it.

An important cost was going to be the expense of the roof. They would learn that a roof sits on trusses and that there were several different ways that you could design a truss. They had to develop a floor plan for the house, decide on a truss design, then calculate the material cost for the trusses.

They would be told that lumber comes in eight and ten-foot lengths and that it costs 35 cents per linear foot. That was all the information they were given. Their trig would come in handy for the truss design.

Three weeks later, they would have to present their designs and costing calculations. The principal and the general manager from the truss manufacturer would attend this presentation.

The next week, the general manager came to their class and explained the different types of truss designs to the students. The students then organized into teams and launched their sprint.

They were told that for the next three weeks, they would have two days each week to work on their project. They would continue to learn their trig curriculum on the other two days. The fifth day would be set aside for presentations of their progress to the class.

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