A new school year means new projects and a new group of future sustainability leaders. Needless to say, I’m excited. Here’s a list of the top 10 things that just might make this year the biggest year yet for SEDlabs:
10. Field trips - Likely destinations include: Mckinstry, UW, Bullit Foundation, Bertschi, 21 Acres, and the Gates Foundation.
9. 3D printing – With both our printers (2BOT and Makerbot) up and running, we can truly go to town on rapid prototyping. Both are tucked nicely into the back corner of my classroom which has a fresh new layout courtesy of lessons I gleaned from summer reading of make space.
8. Mobile Lab – The plan is to collaborate with the NSD Teaching Academy and have the mobile lab on the road this spring visiting local elementary schools teaching about energy and sustainability.
7. Building design/Mckinstry - The majority of this year’s class have an interest in building design in one form or another, so we will be leveraging that interest to the maximum. One of the ideas on the table will be having the students work on the design of a new school for NSD. We will go through the charette process with real architects and engineers then begin to put together real designs. Pretty exciting! And once again, McKinstry is coming with all hands on deck to assist the class withing the building realm. It’s so nice to have a great group of folks ready to support however needed. Not sure what I’d do without them!
6. Collaboration Tools - I’m working with a few others to develop a couple online tools to help those teaching similar material collaborate. This class is so new and there is no decent textbook out there right now, so collaboration is key. Here’s a sneak peak at the draft of the new virtual “greenSTEMclassroom” and here’s a sneak peak at the skeleton of the sustainable engineering and design textbook (no content yet, just structure).
5. Stanford dschool – I’ve been totally absorbed this summer with taking in all I can about “design thinking” via the Stanford dschool. I believe the design process they foster really will change the output of this class.
4. Autodesk – I’ve been collaborating with the Autodesk Sustainability group over the past summer and we’ve been able to find some great synergies that will really take the class to the next level. First, they’re bringing in someone to train the students of Revit. Awesome. Next, we’ve been working on building out their fantastic sustainability workshop videos so teachers can do something with them beyond just showing and moving on. Fantastic. And finally, we will be putting some students through their new green building certificate program. Icing on cake.
3. UW in the High School – Students taking this class can now get 5 credits from UW in addition to the 5 credits available via Cascadia College!
2. Biomimicry/Living Building – “Biomimicry” is our word of the year. We started the year off with a nature walk to begin to appreciate our surroundings. As the year goes by, the monthly walks will include data collection and a more in depth understanding of how our earth systems operate – leveraging these understandings for application to the built environment (aka Living Building, etc.).
1. Students – Cliche, I know, but I really do have an amazing set this year. Interests range from vehicle aerodynamics to sustainable agriculture to architecture. Icing on the cake, I’ve got one of my top students from last year back again working on a real project with a real architect on a real project that will be built this spring. That’s all I can really say at the moment, but just know it’s a really cool thing happening!
If anything on this list is causing some kind of resonant frequency in you , leave a blog reply and we will be in touch! I’m always looking for more support to strengthen the program and provide a one-of-a-kind experience for the students. It’s going to be a great year.