About 30 area middle and high school students have spent the last two weeks learning about architecture and sustainable design concepts at the Dona Ana Community College Architecture Discovery Camp, and have even teamed up to design building concepts based on needs in the community.
"One goal of this course was to provide a service to the community," Rios said. "But, it also gives the students exposure to a unique opportunity to express their artistic side and be actively engaged during the summer."
The course was offered half-days
Middle school participants visited La Semilla Food Center's farm, located near
"We have a shed and a fence now, and plan to build some classrooms," Lessing said. "The student designs were fascinating, especially because they focused on people rather than on the production of food. They even came up with an idea I hadn't considered - a small museum."
Some of the sustainable design features the students used were natural lighting, solar panels, recycled materials, cisterns to catch and save rainwater for later use, low-flow toilets and waterless urinals in the restrooms, and using gravel, a permeable surface, rather than solid surfaces for roads and walkways.
High school participants in the camp visited
Designs ranged from a five-story building with recycled plastic flooring, to a series of round, interconnected dome-topped buildings or the use of an already existing building on campus. These designs also featured solar power, cisterns and gray water systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures and waterless urinals. Other features included use of bamboo floors and recycled plastic carpeting, the addition of bike racks and shower facility for those who walk or bike to work, and operable windows to maximize use of the natural elements for heating and cooling on pleasant days.
"We must educate our children about the need for sustainable behavior for the future of the planet. The Architecture Camp focuses on the environment on all levels of design," said joni newcomer, NMSU manager of environmental policy and sustainability. "I was impressed with what the students came up with for a proposed sustainability education center - it gives me hope!"
The panel of judges included
Future plans for the camp, held each summer, include the possibility of an extended
The DACC Architecture Discovery Camp has been held each summer since 2010. To learn more about the camp, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://dacc.nmsu.edu/adc
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