Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators

How We Learn: Geometry in the Real World

April 28, 2016

Kevin Tobe geometry 720x480

WHERE: Haslett High School, Haslett, Michigan

WHO: The freshmen in the Geometry class led by math teacher Kevin Tobe (MI '15)

WHAT THEY'RE DOING: Measuring the volume of a storage shed in back of the school, using less-than-typical equipment: vault poles (from the school's track and field team, which Tobe coaches) and stick rulers.

WHY: "We decided to take math outside, searching for objects of varying shapes and sizes of which we could measure the volume," says Tobe. "The shed — or, in geometric terms, a pentagonal prism — provided the perfect opportunity to measure distances in unconventional ways, promote problem-solving, and talk about the practical applications of concepts like surface area and volume. After using the vault poles as a measuring device, we considered the potential of using them as selfie sticks to snap some pictures. Unfortunately, none of the students volunteered their phones to test that out."

"How We Learn" is an occasional series in Connections featuring our Milken Educators and their students in action. Milken Educators, got a snapshot of an interesting learning activity? Send it to web editor Erika Kerekes,


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