On August 7, 2014, Saint-Gobain Corporation and Worcester YouthBuild launched a new pilot program called “Scientists in the Classroom”. The program is designed to bring a new level of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training to YouthBuild students, as well as to provide Saint-Gobain scientists and engineers with the opportunity to share their expertise in a volunteer capacity within the classroom setting.
Chris Comeaux and Suresh Annavarapu, two scientists from Saint-Gobain’s Research & Development facility in Northboro, gave the first lesson which involved calculating an area and estimating the cost of a job. Students were asked to quote a job for tiling the YouthBuild classroom. Exercises involved the following:
- Step 1: Calculate the area
– Add some circle and rectangle areas that don’t need tiling
– Measure the room
– Choose a tile
– How many boxes do you need?
– How much will the tiles cost?
- Step 2: Estimate the entire job
– How long will demo take?
– How much prep time?
– Any other materials needed?
– How long to install the tile?
– Any finish work?
– Any other materials?
– What is your total time?
– What is your labor rate?
– Is there a safety factor?
– What could happen that could cause you to lose money on the job?
This topic involved a lot of math which is the least favorite subject for YouthBuild students. As student Pedro Vazquez-Calderon expressed, “The scientists from Saint-Gobain made the lesson really fun and interesting. I learned a lot from this lesson and it made me realize how important science and math really are to our construction project.”