USGBC-CC started 2014 off by partnering up with students from Edison High School’s Green Energy Academy to learn about green buildings. The program, “Measuring Green Buildings”, had Architects, Engineers and Contractors actually go into the classrooms at Edison High School to provide the students with real-world learning experiences. The experts engaged students with such diverse topics as: construction management, commissioning energy systems, acoustical performance, “green” building materials, and architectural design strategies. As part of the program, students had the rare opportunity to actually test the acoustical performance of one of their classrooms. After the experience, one of the Edison students commented, “It was something new and new things are always great. I didn’t really know much about buildings, but after this experience, I now look at buildings with different eyes.”
Green Energy Academy’s Teacher, Taylor Vizthum, expressed his excitement about the students’ keen interest in learning, "In a class of High School Seniors, during the last class of the day you typically expect the students to become ever vigilant "clock monitors", however, during this project, the guest speakers and content was so engaging, they persuaded students to remain after class because they still had questions they wanted answered."
After the educational hands-on learning experience students prepared posters that they presented at the “Green Schools Tour”, which took place at Edison High School’s new award winning building. The tour provided another rare element of learning – networking opportunities. This collaboration with Professionals actually working in the field is crucial for the seniors as they graduate from High School and plan their future.
“Industry partnerships are one of the key elements as we aim to prepare our students for the challenges of the 21st century, and meet the needs for better Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education. Opportunities as such bring context and relevance and help students connect to their learning. We are grateful for having organizations like USGBC in our community, who are willing to help us connect with the industry and help better the educational experience of our students, and inspire them to pursue STEM fields”, reported Ellie Honardoost, Program Manager of the Office of College and Career Readiness at Fresno Unified. Members of the USGBC and general public were invited to attend the event and learn about the High School’s program and building. The event was a great success!
USGBC – Central CA Chapter would like to thank all of the volunteers from Edison High School, Architects, Engineers, and Contractors involved in the project. A special thank you goes out to the Project Leader, Kjirsten Harpain from Darden Architects, who did an awesome job bringing experts together and working with the teacher to design the curriculum!