• College 1st Program

Vanguard Academy Students As Architects Using Their Math Skills

Updated: Sep 25, 2019


Colorful Bridges are visible at many work stations. Students are submerged in profound concentration to create the sturdiest and best-looking bridge. Students hurry to gather materials, knowing the stopwatch will soon ring, signaling time has come to an end and it is time to pick a winner for the grand prize. From building creative bridges and designing dreamlike floor plans, to understanding statistics with chocolate candy and algebraic equations racing, students apply their mathematical skills on the different engaging and competitive activities.

College 1st, in partnership with Vanguard Academy GEAR UP to implement a series of Architecture Math CAMPS to reinforce students’ academic skills. This CAMP experience helps prepare students for upcoming state assessments, strengthening their testing abilities and improving their knowledge in math. All the CAMP activities are aligned with the state standards. Students learn through a plan that consists of academic enrichment math lessons with hands-on activities. The different teaching methods maintain students engaged and interested in the lessons. “ Today was really fun and it definitely helped me with architecture and math. I think I’ll get a better grade on the STAAR because of this CAMP” said Mia Rodriguez, Vanguard Academy student.

During CAMP, students competed in an exciting math challenge, where the first student to solve the given algebraic equations received a prize . The CAMP was interconnected with the architecture profession. Students used their mathematical knowledge when building bridges as a team which had to be sturdy enough to withhold a weight and creative using only the material provided. Students were also asked to think deeply about their future dream home, brainstorming various ideas to include in their dream home. When asked to design a floor plan of that dream home, students used large posters, markers, rulers, and knowledge in geometry as well as measurement conversions, to design a detailed and visually appealing floor design that would be presented to classmates. Lastly, students used candies to draw out vibrant bar graphs that would depict statistical data. The best part of this activity? Students were allowed to eat the chocolate candy! Through these activities, students learned the relationship between math and careers such as civil engineering and architecture. “This CAMP is helping me with my future, because I want to be a Math teacher and work with students so they can become successful.” said Jessmay Rosales, Vanguard Academy Student.


A study published in July 2016 by the Public Library Of Science, shows the effect of a lack of mathematical confidence in students. The study shows that STEM field students tend to leave the STEM program after being discouraged by Calculus I. College 1st teaches students the importance of math in different career areas. During CAMP, students increased their interest in math, becoming eager to pursue a career in the STEM field. College 1st seeks to prepare students for college and career success. “I feel nervous about the STAAR Test, but after this CAMP I think I will be better and will pass the Test, because I feel confident and prepared” said Diego Huerta, Vanguard Academy Student.

Many students felt greatly motivated and understood how architecture uses math after this CAMP. The College 1st Program, in partnership with Vanguard Academy, work to strengthen the students' academic skills to prepare them for college, career and life success. Students learned the importance of math, a life-long skill that serves as a pillar in their future. It is never too early to start building your own future! Shouted one of the College 1st Mentors at the end of the CAMP.

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