Building the School of Tomorrow
|This photo is public domain from www.earland.com.|
Building Up, Not Out
Many of the schools in the United States are either one or two levels. This means that they take up more land, leaving little room for free area. For the School of the Future the plans are to build up and not out.
There are many benefits for building up and not out. Some of those reasons are:
*Less of the building money will be spent on purchasing land and the foundation. Building taller building is more cost effective.
*It gives the school district more options. If it is ever needed there will be room for the school to expand to the sides.
*It allows less depletion of wildlife. Many new schools are built on lots that were once covered with trees and plants, which housed numerous species of animals. The School of the Future makes room for the plants, trees, and animals and incorporates them into lessons that the students will take with them forever.
*Creates less distractions. The majority of schools that are currently in opperation are surrounded by houses, businesses, or other public property. When students look out the window and see something moving they become distracted, meaning they are compromising thier educations. The School of the Future is going to be some what isolated and will limit distractions as much as possible.
The Great Outdoors
Vegetation is very important, especially oxygen producing trees. That is why it is a goal of our school to have plants, grass, and trees surrounding the school.
On the roof of the school there will be a greenhouse for students to grow plants. The Ford Motor Company already has grass on top of their factory in Michigan, so it is feasible. However, instead of just grass, students will grow all types of vegetation for study and food.
Solar panels will be placed between the windows of the school. Instead of the typical solar panels on the roof, placing them on the side of the school will get enough sun, while leaving the roof available for other projects.
Updating the Classroom
The classrooms are the focal point of a school; this is where the pencil meets the paper. It is important that the rooms are stimulating to a learning environment.
As the school of the future we want the students who attend here to have the best opportunities. Many students get lost when they cannot fully see the board or the projection screen. The classes are layed out so that students are more able to see what the teacher is doing. The teachers who teach in the school will also be told to use the natural liting that comes from the windows as much as possible. It is shown that natural liting helps keep the students more awake and aware of what is going on around them.
In many schools around the nation, classrooms are becoming more outdated each year. The school of the future will give teachers the most modern types of technology.
Certain classroooms will feature SMART Boards. A SMART Board is a large touch-sensitive whiteboard. It can display input from laptops, digital cameras, and DVDs. FERL, a post-secondary site on the use of Information Learning Technologies, discusses the pros of using the interactive SMART Boards.
-SMART Boards increase motivation and interaction in students
-It brings the subject to life
-SMART Boards capture the interest of students
-It involves the students in the subject
-Teachers can use multimedia resources and the internet so that the whole class can view it.
All teachers will have access to carts of laptops for student use. This will save money on the construction of computer labs, which are essentially, extra class rooms. Specific classrooms that need a class set of computers every day (computer programming, etc.) will not be using the laptop carts. Instead, they will have desktop computers in the classroom. If possible, all computer courses will be held in the same classroom to minimize costs. However, more computer classrooms will be created as necessary with the completion of the curriculum guide.
State of the Art Bathrooms
In a school it is important that there are bathrooms to serve for the students and the teachers. At the School of the Future there will state of the art bathrooms that are eco firendly and energy efficient.
First we will begin with a water saving toilet. The toilet we chose was the Ifo ES4 with dual flush, which allows the user to choose between a full flush (6 Liters) or a half flush (3-4 Liters). This toilet is one of the mose efficent on the market, showing students that being eco-friendly starts with the littlest of things.
A problem with schools is the amount of water they use. A way to help cut down that issue is with water saving taps. Kaja (a water saving company) created a line of taps that help save water and energy. This is the most obvious way to help lower the amount of a water a single school uses.
Many school bathrooms use paper towel for the students to dry their hands. The paper towel is then just thrown away in a plastic bag that is hard to decompose. Our solution is puting the used paper in the compost pile. This way the towels will be recycled and can be reused along with other decomposable materials.