Building Our Future One Math Class at a Time
Steve Zollinger, a high school math teacher at Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, uses Building Homes of Our Own to teach his students math, research, architecture, archeology, engineering and more.
Nationwide, Building Homes of Our Own, NAHB’s free, award-winning educational software, is turning middle and high school students onto home building. And educators like Steve Zollinger, a high school math teacher at Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, are seeing the benefits.
Building Homes of Our Own walks students step by step through the entire home building process, from site selection and acquiring permits to building a home and selling it to the most qualified buyer.
Zollinger, who first learned about the educational software from a fellow teacher, immediately saw how he could apply its lessons to his math classes ― and how much more his students could learn from the free program.
Building Homes of Our Own does more than just teach students about the sticks and bricks of home building, he says, it teaches them about the entire building process and helps them gain a much better understanding of the financial aspects of buying and selling a house.
“Not until after I began using Building Homes of Our Own myself did I realize the full spectrum of events that went into surveying, building and later selling a home,” Zollinger says. “And I’m an educator. Imagine what the kids are learning.”
Not only does Building Homes of Our Own teach his students about what it takes to build a home, he says, the program also gives them some insight into buying a home.
“As I walked my students through various stages of home building, many students commented that they will be much more comfortable when they need to buy or build a home now that they have had some first-hand experience,” Zollinger adds. “The situations are very realistic and are based on real-life data.”
The Perfect Cross-Curriculum Tool
Because Building Homes of Our Own ties so many subjects together, Zollinger calls it “the perfect cross-curriculum tool.” Mathematics, research, architecture, archeology and engineering are combined into one well-rounded simulation, he says. And because it is computer-based, it fits perfectly into “the technology age of education.”
In particular, he points to the program's flexibility as a learning tool, something he believes is valuable to teachers and students alike.
“It could be a one-day activity to give students a brief glimpse of the process, or it could be a two- to three-week unit that takes a more in-depth look into each stage of the home building process,” Zollinger says. “Students will love it as a challenging game and will learn a great deal while they're at it.”
“I look forward to seeing Building Homes of Our Own incorporated in more classrooms,” he continues. “And I am anxious to see similar simulation emerge in its wake.”
In the last four years, more than 42,000 CD-ROMs have been distributed, reaching an estimated audience of 3 million students, educators and parents.
A free copy of Building Homes of Our Own is available to teachers and NAHB members by visiting www.homesofourown.com.
For free promotional materials, available to NAHB members, e-mail Niki Clark at NAHB, or call her at 368-5242 x8061.