Engagement with STAR Academic High School

Project partners met with school representatives of STAR Academic High School on June 21, 2017 to explore opportunities for collaboration on GI. GI demonstration projects can be used as education tools for their students and they were willing to use their networks and facilities to invite neighbors to engagement activities in this area. Principal Flores talked about creating a student club “STAR Barrio Verde” to develop these projects that would be open to the community and using their facilities for community engagement. They want to hold an open forum where leaders can emerge to take individual projects under their supervision.

On August 8 2017, Dr. Joaquin Murrieta talked with STAR students about GI and ways in which they can work on their Science class to invent devices that would make this technology more efficient. The students are working on a proposal to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to fund them in this effort.

As a result of this engagement, we are engaging other Sunny Side District schools to discuss ways in which green infrastructure projects could be developed in school grounds by bringing in the school community, the surrounding community, and the community at large.

Engagement with STAR Academic High School

We visited STAR Academic High School again on October 24, 2017. Science Teacher, Dr. Rene Corrales approached us to ask for help with explaining to the students the importance of planning green infrastructure. Following Joaquin’s talk in August, students have been eager to start digging basins throughout the school, using the machinery they have available from JTED. However, the importance of having a plan was not clear to the students.

Adriana Zuniga-Teran gave a talk to the students about the design process in architecture and the importance of planning before staring a project. She invited a colleague from the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, Dr. Bo Yang to talk with the students about landscape architecture. He teaches a studio class where his masters students design landscapes and he is willing to use this project for his studio class in the spring semester.

Adriana Zuniga giving a talk to STAR students on the GI planning and design process

We visited STAR Academic High School once again on December 6, 2017. This time, Dr. Joaquin Murrieta gave a talk to the students about water budgets. He taught them how to calculate the water supply and demand to inform the design of a rain garden. These calculations direct the number and type of trees that can be supported by the precipitation collected in this site.

Dr. Joaquin Murrieta teaching water budgets to students at STAR Academic High School

STAR students playing basketball during lunch time