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This New House

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Project At A Glance

Janel Holcomb

Grade level, subjects:
10th grade math/chemistry

Essential questions:
"How does human habitation affect the environment?"  "How can a home be designed to have minimal impact on the environment?"

8 weeks

In a study of sustainable architecture, students work in pairs to create a scale site plan, scale floor plans, scale exterior elevations, a scale architectural model of the home, and a pamphlet explaining the design.

CA standards/domains:
Geometry, Chemistry

Rubrics and regular critiques are used to assess architectural designs, blueprints, and scale models, brochures, and student presentations. 

About the Author

Janel S. Holcomb is now in her fifth year at High Tech High.  During her first year, she volunteered at the school part-time, tutoring students and helping to design curriculum.  Since then she has taught 9th grade Math/Physics and 10th grade Math/Chemistry.  Janel holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.Ed. and Teaching Credential from the University of San Diego. She has worked as a chemical engineer for companies such as Plug Power, Inc. developing residential fuel cells, Vicor, Inc. as a Process Engineer, and Honeywell, Inc. as an Environmental, Health, and Safety Engineer.