Environmental Sustainability (Hotchkiss Summit) and Campus Energy Audits
In 2013, 60 private schools met to share common challenges and solutions in sustainability education on their campuses. Our project will follow up with these schools through student representatives, who will evaluate progress and challenges at each school. Our hope is that this will pave the way for a future student led conference with schools on a similar path. This process and our progress will be documented in the NAIS National Magazine in 2014-2015.
The intention of this project is to use both previous and new ideas for sustainable change that can be implemented at HPA. The audits will consist of research used to develop methods of improving efficiency and environmental quality on the HPA campus. The course will require learning how to use various sensors to gather data on environmental quality and energy. From this data we will develop possible solutions for problems such as air quality and noise levels and adequate lighting. These factors impact the quality of education at HPA, and therefore are critical to the success of our students. The outcome of the project would include implementing basic environmental energy concepts and learning how to think critically while improving the overall quality of campus sustainability.
Ideas from the Hotchkiss Environmental Summit are important in providing a broader view of the impact sustainable education and change can have on different communities.The Hotchkiss Environmental Summit was a conference held in 2013 between various independent schools who had begun work on environmental sustainability. These schools were at many different stages in terms of research and development of sustainable concepts, contributing to the overall understanding of the process involved with similar environmental projects. Unlike the first summit, the second will be held by a group of students working on addressing environmental issues. The project will mainly focus on achieving sustainability goals, addressing current consumption problems, and getting people more interested in the environment. This will require frequent communication and collaboration with a group at HPA and groups from other schools.
One direction I could take with this project is to use it as a platform for teaching other people about environmental problems and how we are working to solve them. This could be done with the village campus or other schools later this year. The communicative aspect of the project is significant because when people are aware of issues that impact them, they often care more and are more likely to work toward finding a solution. Teaching younger kids is also important because they often have obscure ideas for solving a problem, which may lead to more efficient solutions. By combining all of these elements, the project may become more complete, as the research done on the HPA campus can impact the research done by other students at different schools and vice versa.
The assessments will be comprised of research/ analysis papers and visual representations for use as a reference or presentation based assignment. Communicating with other students will also be a large part of these projects. Meeting times will be determined by the availability of group members working on the audit project. These meetings will be held at a minimum of twice per week with emphasis on group contributions. These would be held in the Energy Lab or in the locations being evaluated. If the project expands to the village campus, then the times would be formulated around the schedule and availability of those students.