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Using Math to Make Shoes for Children
March 24, 2014
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.”