Students to lead tours of High School at STEM expo

Just over two years ago, the Town of Wellesley completed construction on one of the most recently-built facilities in town: the new Wellesley High School (WHS).  In keeping with Massachusetts state guidelines, among other requirements, the project’s School Building Committee included many of the latest sustainable and energy-saving technologies in the school’s design.  On Saturday, Wellesley residents will get the chance to see and understand these innovative technologies and how they play a part in the school’s overall functionality, through tours courtesy of the WHS Green Team.

The tours come as part of the Wellesley Education Foundation’s Science and Technology Expo (WSTE), featuring over one hundred exhibits, speakers, and hands-on workshops relating to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), as well as sustainability.  The WSTE will take place at the high school from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, April 5.

The student-led tours of the high school will include a variety of the high school’s sustainable and “green” features in all areas and extensions of the building.  Some highlights include the school’s rooftop garden, daylighted classrooms, rainwater harvesting system, and geothermal energy production.  All the student tour guides from the Green Team will be educated and prepared to answer questions regarding the Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performing Schools scorecard’s environmental aspects and other energy evaluations of the high school.

In addition to the Green Team’s tours, there will be multiple other sustainability-related exhibits at the WSTE.  In parallel with the walking tour, students will be hosting a table on the high school’s energy consumption and construction, alongside a informational training provided by Astrum Solar, the Sustainable Energy Committee’s solar system contractor for its More Power to Choose initiative.  Sustainable Wellesley’s Quentin Prideaux will give a seminar entitled “Climate Reality” is also included on the list of guest speakers at the event.

Wellesley environmental groups are excited to become a part of this new town-wide event. “Truthfully, with all of the sustainable/green initiatives/awards/events happening in Wellesley, I am not surprised there are a number of sustainability/green-related events and booths at the STEM event next weekend,” said Phyllis Theerman, co-chair of Sustainable Wellesley and Wellesley Green Schools.  “From the students in the schools to the government folks in Town Hall, cars and homes and politics too, Wellesley residents are focusing on sustainability, and it’s no wonder it is an important part of the expo.”

(Matthew Hornung & Olivia Gieger)

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