Students and teachers at Strathmore High School (SHS) have been prepping and planning for the construction and operation of a greenhouse built by students, for Strathmore locals.
Until Wednesday this week students, volunteers and teachers will work on getting the project off the ground and into the community.
Cole Hintz a science teacher at SHS explains how this project came to be in the first place.
“We started at the end of last school year thinking about how we could take some of the projects that we're doing in the school and reach out to the community a bit more and involve the community with what we're doing. Our admin Mr. Mertz, had this idea of this greenhouse and the idea to make it this community space where different members in the community come together and learn together.”
SHS received more support than just construction help from volunteers, former students and teachers, however. Hintz notes some sponsors helped get this project off the ground.
“We initially thought that we would have to fund something like this with like one large grant, however, as we started putting out these grant applications, we were very successful. At the time we were able to make $5,000.”
In addition, to help with monetary costs local businesses have been providing building materials for the students and teachers, as Hintz states.
“The community has been great. Gray's Limited, did a lot of our foundation stuff, them and EmBee Contracting. Burnco came out and gave us a really good deal on some cement. Eagle Lake is bringing a dump full of soil tomorrow. The amount of support we've received has allowed us to accelerate a lot of these projects.”
Sponsors for this project include but are not limited to Capital Power, ConnectFirst Credit Union, Golden Hill School Division, Inside Education and The Calgary Foundation.
Science and shop students arent the only ones helping out. Students from all over the school are helping with this project. Hintz explained that the Fabrication Studies class (Metal Work) are customizing an electrical transformer provided by Fortis Alberta, that will connect to solar panels.
Former student Liam Dearing was out helping with the construction of the foundation and spoke on why he came out to lend a hand.
“I graduated from Strathmore High School in 2020, so I'm back after two years. I've been in contact with Mr. Hintz about this project I was one of the students that started the Net-zero initiative that we had going on in 2019. We wanted to make the school a little more sustainable and environmentally friendly, have students more integrated with nature and also innovation. This project is kind of piggybacking off of some of the grants we had for that, and some of the solar things that are going on. It's great to see that, It's something that's continuing and growing to branch out in terms of what students can do.”
Hintz expects construction to be finished by Wednesday and states what he hopes happens next for the greenhouse and its impact on the community.
“I think this could be a really powerful space. There's going to be a lot of cool tech, like being able to run the space year-round off the grid with solar. We've got some other grants already for our solar voltaic stuff that's going to go in to give us the electricity that we need. Meanwhile, it's going to be maintained by our students, so it's a low maintenance way to engage in these ideas with the students from SHS.”
The outpouring of monetary, labour and material support from the Strathmore community has pushed this greenhouse project to heights not expected by the students and teachers of SHS. Soon the community will have a new location for green-thumbed students, teachers and locals to learn from each other and contribute to bettering both Strathmore High School and the wider Strathmore area.
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