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Engage students with the Mean Green challenge

MGH_July14Schoolgen’s Mean Green House Design competition helps promote inquiry learning. Using a 3D modelling program could help your students create the winning designs.  

Are your students the great sustainable architects of the future? Schoolgen is inviting all Year 5 to Year 10 students to again take part in its Mean Green House Design Competition. The challenge is to design a cutting-edge energy-efficient house, which uses solar energy effectively.

Not only are there some great prizes up for grabs but also the competition offers teachers the opportunity to incorporate a range of skills and challenges into the learning process – from planning and decision making, to design and construction. Entries can showcase their computer skills with 3D design tools like Autodesk (autodesk.com) or SketchUp (sketchup.com). Autodesk has a workshop on sustainability (sustainabilityworkshop.autodesk.com/). In addition, Schoolgen provides a range of resources that enable teachers to link the competition to the New Zealand Curriculum.

“The competition allows our students to engage in and explore higher level inquiry learning about energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Katrina Laurie, lead Teacher at Clifton Terrace Model School, which came equal first in last year’s Intermediate Schools category. “The learning journey definitely empowers them because it gives ownership over their learning direction, from researching and applying the concepts developed to their final model.

“As the teacher facilitating the groups of students involved, it’s important to make sure they have access to the right tools, be it digital technology for research and design or experts to discuss the materials needed for creating and building their 3D model.”

Engaging with technology

Entries need to include a video clip showing a scale model of the design, with students explaining its energy efficiency features, as well as documentation covering the concept’s development. There’s still time to embrace this exciting challenge, so get your students planning their designs. Full details are at schoolgen.co.nz. For some inspiration, check out last year’s winners at schoolgen.co.nz/students/mean-green-house-winners-2013.

Categories: Article, Issue 57

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