Colin DeGroot

Rio Rancho Middle School
Rio Rancho, NM

Project Description:

DeGroot’s innovative program, “Sustainable Science: The Science Behind Sustainable Housing”, involves a series of inquiry-based projects to help students apply physical science concepts to the real- world problems of sustainable growth and housing. Eighth-grade students at Rio Rancho Middle School will research, design, and build working-scale model homes that meet or exceed LEED standards for the construction of green homes. By combining the inquiry-based projects with a yearlong problem-solving project, the program will directly impact the daily lives and homes of the students. In order to successfully complete the project, participants will incorporate concepts they have learned in their physical science class such as energy, technology, forces, and human impact on the environment to further the construction of the home and apply them to real world problems. For example, for energy, students will determine the construction materials they will need to design a basic structure that reflects LEED standards. For technology they will use cutting-edge technology to collect data, and for human impact, they will find ways to use their homes as sustainable farms for a small family. DeGroot, who lives in Rio Rancho, hopes the program will impact not only students but the school and the entire community.