Lisa Ciaranca-Kaplan

Andrew Jackson Elementary
Philadelphia, PA

Project Description:

Ciaranca-Kaplan’s winning program idea, “Greening Jackson Garden and Green House Science Curriculum”, is part of a multi-staged project  to develop an innovative ‘green’ curriculum as a vehicle for educational excellence and serve as a low-cost model for other under- resourced public schools in the City of Philadelphia. The program starts with the building of a roof-top garden. It will consist of a  series of raised growing boxes framed using dimensional lumber, a set of covered boxes in shady areas for cultivating mushrooms, and a  rainwater harvesting and storage system along with a compost area. The second stage is to build a science greenhouse that will house  aquaponic and hydroponic vegetable growing systems. The greenhouse will serve as a classroom and showcase principles of energy efficiency  while fostering learning of science and math. Alternative energy sources also will be explored and utilized. Ciaranca-Kaplan, who lives  in Philadelphia, wants to show through her project that with a relatively small amount of funding, an under-sourced neighborhood school  can achieve academic excellence in the areas of science and math.