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The 6th Grade Ratio Project Measures Within and Beyond Our Community
by Jonathan Arriarán, 6th Grade Teacher

A significant component of our math curriculum, the ratio, is the amount of times one value contains (or is contained within) another value. As a student described, it is how much of one thing there is compared to another thing. Partnering with the Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership (BCIL), the 6th Grade students took this fundamental concept to reach new heights.

The Ratio Project has historically provided the opportunity for students to apply ratios, reasoning, and problem solving skills in creating proportionate replicas of three-dimensional objects. The goals of this project continue to strengthen these skills and, this year, has expanded to incorporate an additional purpose: raising awareness. Students selected real world social issues with the intent to inspire others to engage and bring change. After partnering with fellow classmates who share a similar passion, each group collaborated to collect research, select an object to symbolize the issue, and create a detailed plan to engineer a scale model. Through every small victory or challenge, their visions were supported by Becky Dame-Seidler and Richard Masland of the BCIL and members of our 6th Grade Team; Betsy Sandler, Gianna Vargas, and myself.

Enlarged or shrunk, every replica has maintained the ratio of length to depth or base to height of its original object. Each also delivers a poignant message to members of our community, urging everyone to consider how we contribute to the issue, both positively and negatively. The Middle School has transformed into a remarkable exhibit to encourage others to pause, reflect, and join us in taking action.

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