December 14, 2017

Local Architects from Tetra Tech Inc. met with a group of Lehman Alternative Community School (part of the Ithaca City Schools) students to discuss the ways the environment is affected by buildings and infrastructure. They talked about the challenges and opportunities faced by architects and engineers when trying to utilize sustainable design. The class is studying systems thinking and infrastructure which includes agriculture, transportation, and the built environment.

Some of the students’ questions included:

Can architecture mimic biological systems like termite mounds?
How do you make large spaces like gymnasiums be more sustainable?
How can windows in buildings and in cars be more efficient?
Does nuclear power influence energy use and efficiency?
How can a building be heated and cooled efficiently?

The wide-ranging conversation included specific examples of high-performance building features, new green cities, and global political influences on environmental policy. While waiting for the school bus to pick them up, the discussion turned to our recent work with exploring designs in virtual reality


Students attended


Staff attended


Additional Volunteers attended


Students will be impacted this year

Intended impact of project

Increased environmental & sustainability literacy

Impact of project

Improved environmental & sustainability literacy

More impact of project

Students will take what they learned at the workshop and incorporate knowledge and discussion topics into their Project Based Learning opportunities throughout the year for multiple class curriculums.