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Irvington Students Build Models Of Washington, D.C. Landmarks

Irvington Middle School Students built three-dimensional models of Washington, D.C. buildings. Photo Credit: Contributed
The students had been learning how to apply the Pythagorean theorem and distance formula and used their newly acquired knowledge to calculate distances between the Washington Monument and other important buildings. Photo Credit: Contributed
The students used boxes of different shapes, aluminum foil and straws to add detail to their buildings. Photo Credit: Contributed
The project let students experience what architects and designers go through in creating their designs. Photo Credit: Contributed

IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Forty-two proportional models of real-life buildings in Washington, D.C., were showcased Feb. 12 at Irvington Middle School.

Eighth-graders built the three-dimensional models, recreating such iconic buildings as the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, National Museum of History, among others.

Materials used were cardboard boxes, glue, paper, pipe cleaners and aluminum foil.

What started as a math project became an art project, said math teacher Gregg Pernick.

“All the buildings had to be created to scale. In school, we learn math in a vacuum, so this experience provided the students with an opportunity to see how math works in real life. They were applying proportional reasoning, a fundamental middle school concept, and really brought the map to life.”

The students worked in groups to construct their models based on a predetermined scale.

Student Abby Krieger and her group built a model of the Federal Reserve Building, scaling it down from 485 feet in width to 24.25 inches.

“We got to use boxes of different shapes, aluminum foil and straws to make our building more detailed and elaborate,” she said. “The box we used wasn’t the right size, so we cut it down to the proper size for our project, which taught me a little bit more about scales and proportions in math.”

The project was funded by a grant from the Irvington Education Foundation and members of educational organization ArchForKids worked with the students.

“Our residency was sprung from a desire from the math teachers to not only have their students apply what they are learning in math class to real life, but to also have the students gain a deeper and richer understanding of the beautiful buildings in our nation's capital,” said Karen Orloff, a co-founder of ArchForKids.

The students will visit the real-life buildings they portrayed in their models on an eighth grade trip in March to Washington D.C.

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