One of the most compelling benefits of sustainable design is its ability to create immediate connections between the scientific focus of STEM curriculum and the built environment where that learning takes place. The buildings provide students with a working model of how applied science and engineering can translate into real-life solutions informed by green values.
STEM schools should employ green design standards to conserve resources, contain operating and maintenance costs, and teach the value of stewardship. Facilities use recycled materials, energy efficient mechanical systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and natural or drought-resistant plantings. Effective use of daylight in classrooms not only offers energy efficiency, but translates into enhanced learning and student productivity.
At Health Professions High School, gardens are shared with an adjoining elementary school and enhance horticultural science with hands-on learning experience. In tending these grounds, students cultivate both organic produce and healthy nutritional habits. Additionally, users report that the beauty of the grounds makes it more sustainable, as students want to care for a campus in which they take great pride.