Marietta City Schools students are engaged in a systemwide, multiyear program called the K12 Engineering Pipeline, which includes the Haiti Container Building Project.
Students are working on projects in their classrooms that ideally will produce designs, innovations and processes that can eventually be taken to Haiti as the nation continues recovering from the devastating earthquake of 2010.
Marietta High School Pre-Engineering Teacher Leon R. Grant III, honored with the 2015 DiscoverE Educator Award at a ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington last year, launched the initiative.
“We will be taking at least one planning trip during the 2016-2017 school year which will include a few students,” Grant said. “We will begin construction on the Engineering and Architecture Research Laboratory for Sustainability (EARLS LAB) at Marietta High School in 2016-2017 which will provide a K-12 engineering testbed for develop sustainable technologies, which we will transfer to Haiti.”
The school system will partner with an NGO operating in Haiti, the Organization for the Development of Plaine de l’Abre. Plans call for a Reclamation Restoration Community Center there, including a large public meeting space, four vocational focused classrooms with workshop space, experimental gardens, picnic/playground area, a recycling center, a clinic, an office, and a groundskeeper’s residence, he said.
“The EARLS LAB will also be used to demonstrate proven technologies to potential donors and aid in raising funds for the construction phase,” he added.
We visited students at Marietta Middle School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program to see what they’ve been working on.
Their projects include a hydroponics lab, where vegetables can be grown using far less soil and water than is usually required and designing playground equipment that can generate electricity.
Students have been studying the history, economy and ongoing needs of Haiti in their social studies classes, working on honing their marketing and digital skills by creating videos and operating a web site that documents their progress and have raised money by organizing raffles of gift cards and other items donated by area merchants.
“Marietta cannot stress it enough that we are participating in a real project to help Haiti,” the web site notes.
Although school is nearly out for the summer, students were still eagerly engaged in all facets of the program when we visited the other day. Here’s a peek inside this busy operation!