ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA— Discovery Elementary School is a school which truly understands the importance of the science. This elementary school based in America uses zero traditional energy and makes use of onsite renewable energy sources.
The innovative feature about the school is that whole building turns into a teaching tool or open laboratory where kids can’t help but learn about science and its uses. The school’s emphasis on science is so strong that kids learn about food waste management in cafeteria and in playground where they see renewable energy in action.
“Every single roof surface on the building is covered with the solar panels, the energy collected is then converted to alternating current which is put back into the grid” Said Greg Rusk, instructional technology coordinator.
More than three-fourth of the building has glass walls to increase the sun light coming into the building and maximise the use of day light. The use of solar tubes and highly efficient led has resulted in reduction of energy used as well for lighting the core areas of the building where sun light cannot reach.
The sealing also contain noise panels to reduce the overall noise level in the building.
Grey says “It a very open building, so there is large sound deflection and so the panels are in placed on the ceiling to absorb some of that sound to keep students focused on learning.”
The school also has an inbuilt slide which can be used by the students to reach to different class with some fun. Every classroom has different type of seating to give students and teacher personal learning space.
“This kind of open building where it is highly configurable sort encourages students to work together and teachers are creating projects that help student understand the value of working together to solve bigger problems” explains Greg.
A student named Anna investigated the geothermal wells under the playground which captures energy from the Earth’s crust.
Anna says “I learned like where they were , how deep they were how they helped in that zero energy and how they played the part. If you are just reading science , you have pictures and examples but its also kind of cool to see them real life”
Erin Ruso, principle of the Discovery elementary says “ we are just beginning to learn about the building and to incorporate, how that can enhance student learning. So we always do say we are a work in progress.”
-by Bhaskar Raghavendran
Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter: bhaskar_ragha