Environmental design class offers first-hand experience

IMG_6102 (1) Sophomore Sahan Vangala tends to landscaped flower bed at flagpole on campus. (Photo by Carly Wanna.)

Gazebo Staff Writer

“Environmental design is something I have not been introduced to and want to get involved in,” said Stratford sophomore Sahan Vangala.

Accustomed to the typical math and English courses offered by Stratford Academy, a new class that promised hands-on experience in design drew him in.

The class would add to his already vigorous course load, possibly add more stress, and take up time after school.

But to Vangala and 29 other students in grades 8-12, the excitement promised by the new course offering was worth it.

The class hinges on student collaboration in order to create a final, ecologically friendly product or landscape, such as a self-sustaining field or cisterns to capture rain water plants.

Mr. Mike Kelley, chairman of the upper school history department, will teach the class in conjunction with seventh-grade science teacher Ms. Susan Hanberry.

The class is set to meet after school once or twice a week. Having the class meet outside of school hours allows students to take the class without fear of scheduling conflicts.

Environmental design centers on hands on learning. The class will indulge in several outside of the classroom activities as well as learning sessions with experts in various fields of design.

“This is the way of the future,” said Kelley. “Most companies and colleges want people who have actually done something unique.”

According to Kelley, colleges such as MIT strongly suggest students complete a project in engineering before applying.