Sheriff's office reconstructionists give math students real world application

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) -- Lieutenant Dan Newton is a reconstructionist for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in Nebraska. It's a position he's held for the past two years.

"We've worked bad accidents that were caused by ice on the road and people would use their cruise control," Newton said. "Or a deer runs out in front of them. This time of year, there is a lot of deer moving around."

Newton says math wasn't his favorite subject in school. In fact, he struggled with it.

"I knew I wanted to become a law enforcement officer and nobody could tell me how I was going to use it," he said.

Jennifer Davis, a math teacher at North Platte High School in North Platte, Nebraska, says she gets the same answer from her students.

"The one thing you get asked about as a math teacher is, what and when am I going to use it in my life," Davis said. "So I wanted to show them how applicants from the real world use math in their everyday jobs."

Tuesday's lesson was as much about forensic engineering as it was about driving safety.

"He was going 44 miles per hour," said sophomore Clayton Gloss. "If you hear speeding, you know what 25 miles per hour can do in a parking lot or 50 miles per hour in 25 miles per hour zone."

"It made me think coming to school and leaving school, like how dangerous it is with some of the kids here and how they drive and stuff," said sophomore Elizabeth Lucero. "It really opened my eyes to how dangerous it is. And speed can make a difference to how whether or not you can hit the breaks or not."

This is the first time Davis and her class have teamed up with the sheriff's office. She says she hopes to do more in the future.

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