A-B Tech techtalk

Using Math to Make Shoes for Children

March 24, 2014

A-B Tech student Morgan Edwards cuts out a pattern to help make shoes for children.

Students in Tammy Sullivan's Mathematical Measurement class at A-B Tech Community College had a math lab studying area and perimeter, but with an extra purpose beyond the numbers.

Using empty cereal boxes, clean milk jugs, old jeans and other scrap cotton fabrics, they cut out patterns to create pieces to be made into shoes for children in Uganda and Zambia through the Asheville-based Sole Hope program. Materials rescued from the landfill are now able to not only cover feet but to provide jobs in Uganda, where the shoes will be pieced together.

Students were responsible for tracing and cutting out the patterns after determining the maximum pieces to cut from the materials to minimize waste through measurement and calculation. They were able to put together 44 pairs of shoes during the session.

“I feel like it’s a good way to apply the concepts we’re learning to the real world,” said Caroline Klapper, a Veterinary Medical Technology student in Sullivan’s class. “It’s nice to help other people and to see it being used rather than just as problems in a book.”

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Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

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