Scotlandville Magnet Students Going to Washington, D.C., for Chance to Present Sustainable House Engineering Projects
- September 17, 2010
For weeks now, three teams totaling 13 students and their architecture student partners from Southern University have been working on Tuesdays, Fridays and sometimes weekends to design and create a models for a sustainable “dream house.” The Scotlandville Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy students and their teachers hope all the hard work will pay off if they get to make a presentation of their entry in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) Sustainable Dream House Contest.
Winners present their designs and models at the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival October 23 and 24 in Washington, D.C, but Scotlandville’s students will attend whether they win the contest or not. The contest has middle and high school student categories, and it is designed to raise awareness of critical issues involving natural resources. The deadline for Scotlandville’s three entries was September 15.
Each of the three Scotlandville middle school student teams designed a residential home that a family of four could live in comfortably and take advantage of sustainable design concepts like energy efficiency, reusable natural resources, solar energy and more. The school partnered with the Southern University School or Architect and College of Engineering. Funding came in part from Southern University’s Crest grant and the advisory councils for Scotlandville middle and high schools.
“The sustainable dream house project opened windows of opportunities for the students to experience what it is like to be an engineer and an architect,” said Ingrid Cruz, project coordinator and Robotics teacher. “They researched about properties of different building materials that they need to use for the frame of the house to the foundation, insulations, walls and floors. They also collaborated with architects from Southern University to talk about the advisable house orientation in respect to the direction of sunlight, the appropriate type of trees to use at the different parts of the house and the importance of using deciduous trees in controlling the inside temperature of the house. In addition, the students learned about the proper angle in which roofs should be slanted to maximize the use of solar panels. The students applied and tested their measuring skills as they develop the floor plan and create the scale model of their house.
“There were a lot of sustainable and energy efficient features a house can have that the students came across with and they made decisions like adults in choosing which one is most appropriate to use for their home in terms of cost and benefit. Indeed, this project brought to life the possibility that any of the students can become an architect or an engineer someday.”
Kathie Johnson, the school’s lead Magnet teacher, said the partnership was a great experience for the students. “The volunteers were able to give us insight on what the industry expects and provided hands on experience that was needed to complete the sustainable dream houses,” she said. “The school is truly grateful for the financial support as well as the volunteer hours.”
Seventh graders Scott Sicard (pictured, left) and Kennedy Robertson (right) were some of the student team members working on home design plans and models. Sicard said he was inspired to become an engineer after taking his Robotics class. “I got excited about science,” he said. “With this project, I enjoyed learning how to be sort of an architect and design a model based on my own floor plans for a house. It’s a good idea to use energy saving and efficient features inside and out, like trees and gardens. It’s cost saving and environmentally effective.”
Sustainable accents in the designs included a green house, solar panels for energy, rain water reserves for toilets, gray water taken from washing machines and dishwashers for plants and more. “I’d like to be a chemist,” Robertson said,” and this only shows me more about science and math and that career.”
Other Scotlandville middle students involved in the program include: Yusef Davis, Randi Eames, Donald Freeman, Demonte Grimes, Jessica Hawkins, Tyler Jackson, Erran Jarvis, Carleah Joseph, Ronald LeDuff, Cierra Oliver and Jordan Piper. Teacher Steven Slavich and Assistant Principal Edwin Chastang also contributed to the project.
The contest rules explained, “As the world population continues to rise, with no slowdown in sight, so does the demand for existing natural resources such as water, oil, coal, natural gas, energy, wood (paper), metal ores, minerals, etc., to support that growing population. We all know that an endless supply of natural resources does not exist, something has to give! We as the human race have to start learning to do with less and to begin learning how to be more efficient and reuse what we have. If we do not, we will find ourselves in the very near future struggling to provide basic services for the world population.” Concepts that had to be considered when designing the homes included the selection of:
• Construction building materials (e.g. concrete, wood framing, etc) • Home decorations (example, rugs, paints, wallpaper, furniture, etc.) • Energy o Supply (Where does it come from; How is it generated?) and usage (around the house) • Water o Supply (Where does it come from? How is it treated?) and usage (in the house) • Communications and data infrastructure (e.g. phone, computer, etc) • Heating and Air Conditioning • Household Waste Products
Besides a model or poster of the model home, entries also included a written discussion of cost and benefits of designing an environmentally sustainable house and how comfortable the house would be. For more information, log on to www.usasciencefestival.org or http://www.aaee.net/Website/SustainableDreamHouseContest.htm or contact Johnson at the school, (225) 775-0776, or Fareed Dawan at Southern University, (225) 771-4701, Ext. 142.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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