Project Description
New Tech High is located in Belton, Texas. At NTH, students collaborate to meet both Content and 21st Century Standards. In the spring of 2012, Mrs. Tydlacka decided to challenge her 9th grade geometry students to create a model of the Belton Bell Tower and to find the surface are and volume of the tower their group created.
Students visited the tower to take a good look at the architecture; they also viewed original blue prints. Over the next two weeks students worked together to sketch top and side views (on graph paper with an appropriate scale), create a model (sketchUp), and calculate the surface area and volume. Students were required to make screencasts of their daily progress and to combine the clips in a capstone video. Selected videos are linked here. Note that students were given an outline of components and shapes (prisms and cylinders) that needed to be included the three tier tower, but were allowed to modify the more intricate features of the actual tower. At the end of the project, each group presented their sketches, model and computation to Kathy Shafer through a videoconference. Selected sections of the group presentations will be linked by June 1.

The student teams worked hard to complete the tasks. The orthogonal drawings took longer than expected and the slow start caused a bit of stress in week two. In the group interviews, students were asked what part of the project they liked the best and what was frustrated them the most. Their responses were mixed between the three components. While most students really enjoyed using SketchUp, a few were frustrated by it. Each group was asked if they could find the volume and surface area of a different tower. The response was a confident YES. Thank you to the students who shared their work!

Sample Math File Belton Math.PDF
Note the calculations are on the first few pages and the sketches are on the last page.

Page updated July, 2017