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The Greening of Our Schools

Congrégation de Notre-Dame

Photo: Marie-Claire Dugas

An Outdoor Classroom for Project Based Stem (Science Technology Engineering Math)


Villa Maria Academy, Bronx, New York


An Outdoor Classroom for Project Based Stem (Science Technology Engineering Math)

LAND:  we are planting a school garden, butterflies for the youngest students, vegetables for P.O.T.S., flowers for Providence Rest, herbs for the kitchen, a berry patch for birds, and a heritage garden for our historical significance.   Gardening has many positive impacts on learning, heath and community.

SKY: a weather station will give Villa students access to environmental data, communications tools, collaborative projects and more.  This group of tools - - a wind sensor, a rain gauge, a lightning sensor, barometer, HD camera and LCD display - - will provide data that will be collected 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week.  An accompanying STEM curriculum will help teachers use the data for student projects across all grades.

SEA:  a project will help repopulate the East River’s native oyster population and renew this natural filter for the New York Harbor.  Villa will join with other community groups to do our part to return 1 billion oysters in 100 acres of reefs by 2030.

Notre Dame Academy – Staten Island, New York

  • 150 Solar Panels on elementary school building
  • Conversion of furnaces to hybrid gas/oil
  • Replacements to energy efficient windows



  • Expand the existing garden to have a greenhouse and 7 raised beds
  • Educate students in an environment enhancing activity. Volunteers will tend the garden throughout the summer
  • Engender a cooperative spirit on an environmental project
  • Increase participant awareness of Hunger as a Social Justice Issue right here in Staten Island
  • Produce grown will be given to Our Lady of Good Counsel Food Pantry and Project Hospitality (an organization that feeds the homeless)
  • STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) WAGON will install cold frames for early planting
  • A professional Garden Designer (parent of a 3rd Grader) will assist the students in designing the garden


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