Students and teachers at Greco Middle School in Tampa will soon have a new classroom alternative, providing hands-on access to environmental learning and other real world skills.
The outdoor classroom project
is being led by the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council
(USGBC). The collaboration is also supported by the School District of Hillsborough County
as well as parents, teachers and administrators at Greco Middle School
The classroom will include Florida-friendly landscaping improvements and other educational tools that will be integrated into the curriculum. Teachers will be able to reserve the space for a given period during the day to teach outside. Lesson plans might focus on storm water management or structural support for bridges.
"The whole idea is to incorporate aspects that are environmentally friendly and can serve as teaching points," says Travis Barnes, board member for Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of USGBC. "We’re also getting the school more engaged with the community at large."
The classroom is a nice pairing with Greco’s strong focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields and on-site community garden, a collaboration with the City of Temple Terrace
The implementation is part of USGBC’s Green Apple Day of Service
on September 27. The goal is to promote sustainability at K-12 as well as college campuses on a global scale. This is the third year the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter has participated in the event. Last year’s project was a school garden at Muller Elementary School
in Tampa that has since been formally incorporated into the school’s curriculum.
40 – 50 volunteers are expected to help with the buildout, including parents, students, teachers, staff and the business community.
The project’s title sponsor is Julius the Architect
. Other sponsors include the Phoenix Agency
and Tampa Bay Trane
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Travis Barnes, USGBC