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Grade 4 Students Learn About Sustainable Housing With Help From US Environmental Club

Students from the Upper School’s student-led environmental club met with grade 4 students in the Library for an insightful presentation.
As part of their project-based and special-subject learning, Lower School students in grade 4 have embraced the United Nations’ Sustainable Goal No. 11 to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. It has led to an interesting unit on sustainable housing centered around work in the Lower School iLab—and helped by insight provided by Upper School students. 
Last week, five students from the Upper School’s student-led environmental club met with grade 4 students in the Library for a presentation on sustainability, and a discussion on what sustainable cities look like. The Upper School students discussed problems with pollution and depletion of natural resources, and how sustainable buildings increase efficiency while using less energy, water and other resources. 
The presentation is one of many activities around sustainable housing in grade 4. In their iLab class, the grade 4 students learned about creating models of sustainable housing using TinkerCad, a web-based computer-aided design (CAD) app that builds foundational skills in 3D design. Led by Lower School computer science teacher Laura Redman, the students have explored different popular types of sustainable housing, including earth-covered homes, bamboo homes and dome houses. 
“Our next step will be visiting the newly developed community across the street from St. Margaret’s to see real-life applications of sustainable housing,” grade 4 teacher Casey Hagy said. 
The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Goals are urgent calls for action by all countries in a global partnership, and are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by all UN member states in 2015. Other goals involve issues like poverty, education, gender equality and economic growth.
St. Margaret’s uses the UN Sustainable Goals as guideposts for meaningful project-based learning and service learning in the Lower School. 
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