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        Page 8                                                                                                 Electronic Edition:

                    Community Partnerships Foster Real-World Learning

                    Minnetonka High School MOMENTUM Program Partners with the Minnesota Asphalt Paving Association for
                    Hands-On Mathematics Unit

                                                                                but there was not, based on what students felt   learning  was  created  thanks  to  these  industry
                                                                                they could achieve with the production, equip-  experts,” said Veninga. “Budgeting and estimat-
                                                                                ment and sources we gave to them.”  ing is a lifelong skill for us all to acquire, and
                                                                                   The project revealed an interesting tension   this took place throughout the challenge. Now
                                                                                in  requiring  mathematics  skills,  and  yet  not   students have a new understanding of the con-
                                                                                having  an  exact  answer  that  instructors  were   sistency of the materials applied, labor required
                                                                                seeking from students. “That’s the real world,   and resources implanted, this experience really
                                                                                in our world of construction,” said Carron. “It’s   differentiates  our  MOMENTUM  students  in
                                                                                a choose your own adventure every day. There   new and positive ways.”
                                                                                are many ways to get from ‘A to B,’ and all of   Learn  more  about  the  Minnetonka  High
                                                                                them can be right.”                School  MOMENTUM  program  at  min-
                                                                                   Throughout  the  experience,  students
                                                                                strengthened skills to levels beyond what they
                                                                                might achieve in a typical classroom environ-
                                                                                ment.  “From  the  hard  skills  related  to  math
                                                                                and  physics,  to  soft  skills  of  working  with
                                                                                professionals on a weekly basis, a new type of

        Minnetonka Public Schools           and  aggregates  to  utilities,  paving,  and  exca-
            At  Minnetonka  High  School,  MOMEN-  vation,”  explained  MOMENTUM  program
        TUM provides opportunities for students with   instructor Brent Veninga. “Students were able
        a  passion  for  real-world,  hands-on  learning   to visit the site in question at the local middle
        to  take  courses  that  can  lead  to  skilled  trade   school, and then each team had the opportunity
        careers.  The  program  began  as  a  reimagining   to give their bid presentation to a review panel,
        of aspects of Minnetonka High School’s tech-  followed by a ‘bid opening’ event so everyone
        nical education program, with its f rst courses   could hear what the other teams did.”
        launching in Fall 2020. Four years later, there   “We  wanted  to  essentially  create  a  giant
        are more than 400 students involved in classes   “word  problem”  with  asphalt  paving  as  the
        within MOMENTUM’s four different areas of   subject.  It’s  a  way  students  can  achieve  their
        study — Construction Systems, Manufacturing,   learning  objectives,  while  exposing  them
        Design, and Transportation.         to  an  industry  they  might  not  be  aware  of,”
            This  spring,  a  team  from  the  Minnesota   said  Abbey  Bryduck,  Executive  Director  of
        Asphalt Paving Association (MAPA) and Valley   MAPA.  “Putting  the  curriculum  into  a  practi-
        Paving  worked  extensively  with  Minnetonka   cal application with an incentive, just like in the
        High School MOMENTUM students taking the   construction world, hopefully gave the students
        program’s  Physics  and  Mathematics  in  Home   an experience where they could envision them-
        Renovation  classes  as  part  of  a  pioneering,   selves  being  in  the  future.  That  was  MAPA’s
                                            goal  in  the  project.”  Bryduck  is  involved  in
        project-based learning initiative. Both Physics   MAPA’s  workforce  development  committee  Funding Available for Schools!
        in Home Renovation and Mathematics in Home
        Renovation  are  interdisciplinary  courses  that   and noted that the organization approached this   Minnesota  Housing  is  excited  to   educational  cooperatives  can  apply  for  these
        allow students to fulf ll graduation requirements   project as an opportunity to help students envi-  announce funding availability for school dis-  funds  through  the  2024  Single  Family  RFP.
        in  core  subjects  areas  while  applying  knowl-  sion future careers.  tricts  to  provide  affordable  homeownership   The application deadline is Thursday, July 11,
        edge directly to the trades.            As  part  of  this  challenge,  seven  student   opportunities through the 2024 Single Family   2024 at noon Central time.
            Inspired  by  a  project  from  Purdue  Uni-  teams traveled to Valley Paving for site visits.   Request for Proposals (RFP)!  Application  instructions  and  documents
        versity,  MOMENTUM  instructors  together   From  welding  to  crawling  inside  the  driver’s   School districts, charter schools and edu-  are available on Minnesota Housing’s Impact
        with MAPA partners designed a “bidding chal-  seat of motor graders, dozers, dump trucks and   cational cooperatives are eligible to receive up   Fund  webpage
        lenge” unit where students determined funding   other massive machines, students had f rsthand   to $100,000 in grant funds to construct homes   homeownership/community-initiatives-pro-
        for the hypothetical paving of a district school   exposure to the many elements it takes to com-  for owner-occupants. Grant funds can be used   grams/impact-fund.html.
        site,  Minnetonka  Middle  School  West. At  the   plete a large transportation paving project.  for certain costs directly related to construct-  Those  interested  in  applying  should
        completion  of  the  project,  students  presented   “My  favorite  part  of  the  project  was  the   ing homes such as materials and supplies. In   review  the  Single  Family  RFP  Application
        their f ndings in the City of Minnetonka council   progression week after week, of seeing the kids   connection with the grant, any funds used to   Instructions.  In  addition  to  other  required
        chambers.                           start to understand what to do on their own and   purchase materials and supplies must result in   documents, applicants must also complete the:
            The unit took place over eight weeks, and   then come up with their own ways to get to the   the construction of a home or homes. These   Schools Workbook and School Supplemental
        MOMENTUM  instructors  and  MAPA  profes-  answer,” shared Brent Carron, an industry pro-  home(s) must then be sold to eligible owner-  Activity Application.
        sionals worked together to plan the intersection   fessional from Valley Paving.   occupants with household incomes at or below   We  encourage  school  districts,  charter
        of academics and applied skills to give students   Carron noted that real-world projects, like   115% area median income. The homebuyers   schools  and  educational  cooperatives  inter-
        an unmatched experience.            the bidding simulation, provide invaluable expe-  who purchase these homes must participate in   ested in applying for funds to reach out to the
            “During the f rst f ve weeks of the project,   riences for students to participate in. “One of the   homebuyer education through the Homeown-  Impact Fund team for training and technical
        industry  experts  and  our  instructional  team   kids said it best, ‘There is no real exact answer,’   ership  Education,  Counseling  and  Training   assistance  on  program  requirements  and  the
        incorporated lessons on reading blueprints and   and  that  is  the  truth,”  said  Carron.  “At  f rst,   (HECAT) program.  application process.
        the major elements of the project, from removal   many kids were under the impression that there   School  districts,  charter  schools  and
                                            was a right and wrong answer for the project,
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