At Seabury, the city IS our classroom, and this week was a great example! Seabury Middle School students made a visit to the Center for Urban Waters. Located along the Foss Waterway in Tacoma, this organization is a collaborative team of environmental scientists, engineers, law and policy makers, and analysts who are working together to make the Puget Sound a safe, protected, and sustainable environment. (https://www.urbanwaters.org/)
Part of the Center for Urban Water's mission involves community education, particularly about their totally green and sustainable work space. We took a tour of the building, learning about the green roof, recycled materials, built in rain gardens, and even the super-smart temperature system. Windows glow green or red, depending on the buildings ability to regulate the internal temperature. The color lets employees know when they can open windows for a breeze without disrupting the temperature inside the building.
Students used this visit as a research opportunity for an upcoming project that will integrate Science, Math, Social Studies, and Language Arts. Based on the year's theme of Modernity, and building on a discussion in Social Studies about the "modern, sustainable city," students asked about ways they could help create sustainable technology for Seabury School, and possibly even for the city of Tacoma. We talked with environmental engineers about ways to take our hundred-year old historic building and make it greener. It was easy to see the wheels turning in our kids' brains as they worked out what they wanted to do on their projects.
We're excited to see what the students come up with. They are obviously passionate about making sure the world is a safe and sustainable place for their generation and beyond!