The Newton High School Green SWEEP project will enable students to study ecological relationships and the flow of energy and matter in a real-world setting. It will increase students’ technology and scientific research skills and environmental awareness, while instilling in them a lifelong appreciation for nature. It will provide multiple opportunities for community service and introduce students to the numerous careers available in science and technology. The project will provide a revolution in how teachers teach and students learn, with more opportunities for differentiated, project-based learning, integrated thematic instruction and co-curricular teams, and collaboration with collegiate and corporate partners.
Orginally the project was designed for Newton High School which will be relocated in 2013. The concept was based on the current Newton High School which is located on 51 acres bordered by the Yellow River. Between the school and the river there are several outdoor facilities, including a baseball field and a livestock barn housing animals for the school’s agricultural science classes. Their location raises some environmental issues. When it rains, run-off from the baseball field flows into a large area between the field and the barn, making it difficult for students to get to the barn because the area becomes a muddy mess! Eventually this runoff results in the flow of animal waste into the river.