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Area and Perimeter With Murphy Elementary

Last month Bret Fendelman presented to a group of Webelo Cub Scout who were eager to hear what a real architect does.  This past week Bret was in front of about 50 kids at Murphy Elementary explaining that, yes, he actually does use math every day. . . specifically area and perimeter (which is exactly what they were currently learning about).

Bret opened with who he was and what classes/courses he took to become an architect.  He stressed how important math was in any career, but especially in architecture.  He brought along some renderings and floor plans of a local academic project on which he is currently working.  Using those exhibits, Bret provided a visual example of how he creates a floor plan to match the client’s spatial needs by square foot during the programming/schematic design phase.  Comcheck then requires him to input the square footage of walls, floors, windows, etc. to verify if the building will pass energy code regulations.

Bret said, “The kids really seemed interested in the fact that I actually use area and perimeter every day.  They loved looking at the floor plans and seeing how it applies to a real world example.”

They spent the rest of the period pretending their classroom needed new paint, ceilings and floors.  Bret handed out some M+H tape measures but also showed the kids how to use visual cues for measuring.  He explained how construction materials are often a standard size; items like ceiling tiles are 2’ x 4’, concrete blocks are 8”, and doors are 3’ x 7’.

“Watching their eyes light up when we talked about using visual cues was such a great feeling,” Bret explained.  “Sometimes it just takes one person to explain an idea a little differently and then it all just clicks.  I hope I was that person for these kids.”

A big thank you to Kristi McGarrigle’s and the  4th grade classes at Murphy Elementary School in High Ridge, Missouri.