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STEM/Construction
        Page 6                                                                                                 Electronic Edition: www.teachingtodaymn.com

                   MOMENTUM Students Take Part in Service Learning with Habitat for Humanity


                                                                                   MOMENTUM  is  the  Minnetonka  High   mini apprenticeships can be great connections
                                                                                School program for design and skilled trades.   for future internships and career opportunities.
                                                                                It  provides  opportunities  for  students  with   Veninga makes a point to gather student
                                                                                a  passion  for  real-world,  hands-on  learning   feedback after every event, guest lecture and
                                                                                to take courses that can lead to skilled trade   site visit. Students regularly give experiences
                                                                                careers.                           such  as  the  mini  youth  apprenticeships  high
                                                                                   Lessons and experiences are coordinated   praise. “These direct quotes from our students,
                                                                                to provide maximum student engagement. For   when they are sharing about their experiences
                                                                                example, in “Mathematics in Home Renova-  with external partners in our program, are pure
                                                                                tion” and “Physics of Home Renovation,” two   gold,”  said  Veninga.  Student  feedback  is  an
                                                                                courses  in  the  Construction  Pathways  strand   important metric in MOMENTUM’s forward
                                                                                of MOMENTUM, students learn about math   planning, and it helps demonstrate the value
                                                                                or physics topics and then engage in projects   the program provides to students as they plan
                                                                                that bring those concepts to life. A lecture on   their steps after high school.
                                                                                electrical  circuits  might  be  connected  to  an   After  the  program’s  “Human  Resources
                                                                                opportunity for students to practice wiring their   Day,”  where  MOMENTUM  students  had
                                                                                own electrical systems. Academic courses are   the  opportunity  to  work  on  job  applica-
                                                                                then connected to guest speakers or site visits   tion  and  interview  skills  while  hearing  from
                                                                                where  professionals  working  in  the  industry   local hiring professionals in the industry, one
                                                                                share their experiences with students.  student shared: “This program has helped me
                                                                                   “This  year,  physics  and  math  students   figure out what path I want to take right now.
                                                                                worked  together  to  build  our  first  ever  ‘ice   It’s such a good path for many kids who are
                                                                                castle,’”  shared  Minnetonka  High  School   hands on and might want to be in the trades,
                                                                                MOMENTUM instructor Brent Veninga. “It’s   but don’t know where to start.”
                                                                                a full-sized ice fishing house where students   Changing  minds  and  opening  opportu-
                                                                                have done everything from framing the walls   nities is what MOMENTUM is all about. In
        Minnetonka Public Schools           experience ranged from task-based confidence   and interior cabinetry to wiring the electrical   a  recent  survey  of  students,  MOMENTUM
            On  Wednesday,  September  20,  students   in installing stone patios to the importance of   systems, plumbing a toilet and shower for the   program  leaders  found  that  more  than  three
        in the MOMENTUM Physics in Home Reno-  interpersonal  skills,  such  as  communication,   bathroom, and even planning the interior aes-  quarters  of  the  students  surveyed  agreed
        vation and Mathematics in Home Renovation   teamwork  and  working  safely  to  complete  a   thetic design. It’s been a multifaceted project   that  their  perspective  around  the  trades  has
        courses took part in a service-learning oppor-  job. In a post-event survey, 100% of partici-  for  students  to  lean  into  their  strengths  and   changed  since  being  in  MOMENTUM.  “It
        tunity with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.   pants shared that they would recommend the   interests in a real way.”      has really sparked an interest in me,” shared
        Students volunteered at various Habitat work   experience to their friends.  MOMENTUM     Physics/Mathematics   one student. “It has shown me the amount of
        sites to frame walls, place windows, build a   “These responses warm my heart because   of  Home  Renovation classes  also  participate   opportunities available through this field.”
        patio, paint walls, secure scaffolding, measure   this  is  the  essence  of  what  we  are  trying   in  a  “mini  youth  apprenticeship”  program
        and  cut  lumber  and  put  some  of  their  early   to  capture  with  the  MOMENTUM  experi-  where students visit nine different companies
        construction learning into action.  ence,” shared Brent Veninga, MOMENTUM   monthly,  exposing  them  to  community  busi-  minnetonkaschools.org
            Students’  biggest  takeaways  from  the   program coordinator.     nesses related to their areas of interest. These




        Construction Complete Continued from Page 4
        us in a way where we actually had to do the   Projects beyond the house
        things we were taught and apply our learning.”
            Ernie  plans  to  go  into  carpentry  after   Students  wrapped  up  the  project  earlier
        graduation. Like Drew, the small idea of going   than  anticipated,  giving  them  the  opportunity
        into  this  field  was  cemented  because  of  this   to build smaller projects. From a garden shed
        project.                            to  chicken  coops,  students  got  to  apply  their
            “This  project  made  me  realize  I  am   learning  and  continue  building  their  skills  on
        good at carpentry, and I do want to do it for a   real projects.
        career,” he said.                      “Students  are  really  driving  these  proj-
            For Scott, the goal of the course wasn’t   ects and it has been cool to watch them revisit
        to turn each student into a builder. He wanted   what they’ve learned and continue honing their
        to introduce them to the process, give them a   skills,” says Scott.
        better understanding of what it takes to get a   Drew and Ernie are considering starting a
        finished product and give them the tools and   business together building chicken coops.
        experience to help them as they look ahead to   “We  now  have  the  knowledge  and  skill,
        what’s next.                        and we know there is a want in the community,”
            “Maybe they’ll take what they’ve learned   says  Drew.  “With  the  sale  of  eggs  going  up,
        and pursue a career or maybe they are able to   people are buying chickens and need chicken
        apply  some  of  the  learning  when  they  own   coops so this would be a good business to start.”  “We felt the support and know it was a team
        a  house  or  business  someday.  Regardless,  I   Made possible with partners  effort from everyone involved. I hope students
        think this project helped them discover their                           drive by the house someday and reflect on their
        likes and dislikes and gave them more knowl-  “We had a terrific experience because of   experience and the important part they played   springlakeparkschools.org
        edge and experience for their futures. ” Scott   our community of partners who were involved,”   in building a house that will live in our com-
        Wicklund, SLPHS teacher, project lead.  says Eric Van Brocklin, Career Pathways Lead.
                                                                                munity for a long time to come.”
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