Math teacher Rob MacDonald and his advanced calculus class turned to architectural design to help them with calculus concepts. Mr. MacDonald describes the project:
Students were asked to design a small house and were given constraints about area and volume. In order to calculate areas and volumes precisely, they used calculus; they took integrals of the functions that represented the surfaces of the house. Students were expected to perform accurate calculations, but they were also asked to be creative and to think about aesthetics and practicality. Most groups chose to use Google SketchUp, a free application, to create 3D models of their designs.
A short video showing some of the students’ work in Google SketchUp is embedded below.