The East Aurora GreenLab will be an indoor/outdoor science greenhouse laboratory that gives students hands-on opportunities to explore the latest in green energy, wastewater treatment, and horticulture technologies. The East Aurora GreenLab has an opportunity to cultivate a curiosity that could have a lifelong impact and make generational changes in a low-income community.
Mission: The Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy of East Aurora plans to build an indoor outdoor learning lab “GreenLab” to enrich student learning, as well as create a community partnership providing fresh vegetables for families in an underserved community. We are seeking to raise $750,000 to construct a GreenLab with a fully functioning science lab, greenhouse and outdoor garden spaces. The GreenLab will also be a model of green technologies and include solar panels, wind turbines, and a brown water system with the goal of the facility being “off-the grid”.
Educational Impact: The Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy is a public school that is part of the East Aurora School District located in Aurora, Illinois. We serve students in grades 3 – 8 who are academically talented and have an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas. Our current curriculum is unique in that in addition to offering enriched reading, math, social studies and science, students also take courses in robotics, horticulture, technology and engineering.
The addition of this GreenLab will allow students to further explore current green technologies, renewable resources, plant sciences, ecology, and horticulture. The lab will also provide opportunities for our high school students to have an authentic lab experience and the resources to take advanced placement environmental science, and conduct independent research projects. This lab will develop more college and career ready students.
Community Partnerships: The immediate community in which the East Aurora GreenLab will exist is an economically depressed neighborhood with high needs. Located on the same block as the Academy is the Wayside Cross Lifespring Ministry and One Hope United Early Learning Center. During the past 3 years, we have collaborated with these two agencies for smaller projects and have established strong lines of communication. Aurora’s Early Learning Center has a unique Healthy Lifestyles curriculum which helps children develop healthy routines and activities, emphasizing proper nutrition, daily exercise and protecting our environment by recycling, reducing and reusing. Our partnership with this agency will be a great outlet for the fresh produce as well as an opportunity for our students to transfer their knowledge to the young children at the day care center.
Timeline: To begin with the end in mind, the GreenLab formal ribbon cutting will be Fall of 2018. The fundraising campaign will begin December 2015, curriculum will be developed during the 2016-17 school year, and construction to begin Spring of 2017.
Your donations can be the seeds that cultivate an amazing learning experience for East Aurora students.