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NewsDepth A+: Lakewood STEM

Nothing impresses us more than when a group of students come up with a creative solution to a problem. It’s a bonus, though, when the solution is also ecologically friendly and good for Mother Earth! Well, the STEM students at Lakewood’s Garfield Middle School and Harding Middle School did just that, and earned this week’s A+ Award along the way!

You see, seventh graders study green architecture in their STEM course at Harding and Garfield, and the capstone project for the unit requires them to design a sustainable house using shipping containers, something a Great Lakes port city has plenty of!

Mrs. Hinesman, Garfield’s STEM teacher, told us that the students study all kinds of green architecture methods. Things like recycling rainwater, green roofs, and solar and wind power. They use these methods to design a home that has minimal impact on the environment. She shared that the students are really motivated by the project because they know how important it is to take care of the environment.

Mrs. Andrzejewski, Harding’s STEM teacher, added that the students really learn about civil engineering concepts and how to use their understanding of measurement, architecture and computer-aided design to create the homes. Civil engineering is the branch of engineering that’s focused on the design and maintenance of roads, bridges, dams, and similar structures.

What’s really impressive is that these seventh graders even use a program called Revit. Revit is a software that professional architects use to design homes and buildings. Maybe even the school you’re sitting in right now!

The students in the STEM class really work very hard and are great role models for what a growth mindset is. Their teachers told us that the students find the challenge very motivating and they’re very proud of their accomplishments. What really impressed me about these aspiring architects is that they were so motivated to solve such a complex problem.

This week’s A+ Award goes to the seventh grade STEM students at Harding and Garfield Middle Schools located in Lakewood for their tireless work in designing green homes using shipping containers. Keep up the great work!

Michael Edelman is the director of education for Ideastream Public Media.