Congratulations! You are now all employed at Aion Engineering! We have been contacted by GeoGreenhouses, a small startup focused on urban gardening. They have asked us to help them to design a geodesic greenhouse that can be assembled in the yard to allow the growing of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers all year round.
As design teams, you are to create plans and blueprints for a greenhouse kit that can be purchased and assembled at home. It must be as efficient as possible, using a minimal amount of heating/cooling elements. It must be rigid and must maximize volume while minimizing surface area.
Your team will then design a presentation, including a design for the interior layout of planting beds and a proposed itemized budget.
We talked a bit about the history of the geodesic design and Buckminster Fuller. We talked about greenhouses and watched a brief video about a family in Colorado that built one in their backyard.
I assigned groups randomly and handed out the Team Contracts. Tomorrow, we will be assigning roles and discussing how to keep the team together.
One of the first questions they asked was about whether we were actually going to build the designs.
I emailed the principal laying out my idea and talking about how it would benefit the school as a whole. So far, my ideas have been well-received by my administration, but this one goes a bit further than previous proposals, so I sat with my fingers crossed for a while.
My principal was incredibly supportive!
He copied the shop teacher, the Earth science teacher and the cafeteria manager (who has been working on getting funding for such an endeavor) and suggested ways that we could integrate various other aspects of the school community.
My plan is to have each group create a design and proposal on which (hopefully) the rest of the district will vote. The winning design and budget will be the one that we build and utilize. We can ask local business for sponsorship and donations.
I see incredible amounts of potential for this, now and in the future, including integrating the elementary in the growing and measurement of plant growth.
More important than any of this, the kids are enthusiastic about the idea. I will need to work to keep that momentum going, but I hope I've hit one something that they will enjoy and work passionately for.