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Portables to Earthships

Vision

In Milton, Ontario (a city neighboring where I teach) there are over 200 portables at schools around town. These portables cost over $100,000.00 per unit and they drain on everything. They are big and boxy; each needs its own separate heating and air conditioning. It’s crazy!

My idea is to create a living classroom as a pilot project, with the ultimate goal of turning every portable in Canada into a sustainable, living, growing classroom where students can learn how to grow vegetables, and learn how nitrogen from fish can feed plants.

I imagine schools with 20 portables having a network of earthships, with each earthship geared toward a different species of plants and vegetables, and even having earthships inspired by different cultures.

These earthships could provide communities with fresh food and even create an income to further the schools’ initiatives. The learning opportunities are endless.

Earthships could transform education. I analyzed the elementary-level Science and Social Studies curricula and found over 160 curriculum points that could be taught in an earthship environment. That’s just a starting point – being a bilingual country, this could also transform language points where students talk about their experiences or practice writing procedures. Earthships could also be used to teach Math with measurement, numeracy and number sense. The learning opportunities are endless and embody the core values that we need to start instilling in our children.

Action

So why am I writing to you? In order for this plan to succeed, I need your help. I know this is a big process. My school, James W Hill in Oakville, is the perfect starting point. The community is incredibly supportive: Parent Council alone fundraises over $60,000.00 each year. Oakville has a tight-knit, affluent community that is committed for any new and exciting ways to learn.

Already on board for an earthship in our community are local businesses to donate materials, labor, and money:
Sr. Project Manager from Turner (and formerly Elis Don Construction) who is willing to donate time to oversee plans, workers and blueprints. Environmental Scientist and custom cooper roof builder, who has worked on an earthship build in northern Ontario the backing from the school’s administration and superintendent.

What we need now is your expertise and funding to help us move this project forward. I know we would need blueprints that fit the needs of a learning classroom. I would love to talk further about the opportunity to give input into the designs of such a classroom. Thank you for your time.

Reflection & Celebration

I imagine schools with 20 portables having a network of earthships, with each earthship geared toward a different species of plants and vegetables, and even earthships inspired by different cultures.

These earthships could provide communities with fresh food and even create an income to further the schools’ initiatives. The learning opportunities are endless.

Earthships could transform education. I analyzed the elementary-level Science and Social Studies curricula and found over 160 curriculum points that could be taught in an earthship environment. That’s just a starting point.

2. Zero Hunger
3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
14. Life Below Water
15. Life on Land
What is your vision for Canada?
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