6 – 8th Grade

Global Concepts, Real-World Challenges

The Greenhouse Project 6th – 12th grade curriculum has been developed under the Challenge Based Module Design based on the Novare Schools model. Modules are intensive, short-term interdisciplinary courses developed around real-world challenges. They are designed to enhance students’ understanding of big ideas and broad global concepts, and their development and application of 21st century skills – the kind of things educators hope students will remember and still need to know and use 20 years from now.

Each module is designed to teach an intensive 12 week session of 6 hours per week. In collaboration with the Manhattan School for Children, NY Sun Works has developed the following modules:

  • Building Sustainable Cities:Students design a model of a sustainable building focusing on energy, water, waste, building materials, and use of the open space.
  • Risky Business:Students design and implement a campaign to promote sustainable and healthy living choices focusing on the systems of the body, impacts of a variety of choices, connections between the human body system and other impacted systems.
  • We Are What You Eat:Students understand the food system from farming, food processing, distribution, packaging, marketing, preparation, consumption, and disposal of food waste. Students also explore the role of resource management and how public policy works. Students design a campaign to educate a designated public about one aspect of the food system including the students’ position about the food system challenges.
  • The Hydroponic Games:Students design, construct, and evaluate an original hydroponic system which includes the development of an operations manual, testing/maintaining the systems, farming, and finally donating the produce and the system itself.

These Challenge-based Modules delve into STEM and Sustainability concepts through long-term independent projects connected to real world problems and applications. In this way, the students’ work actually addresses global realities and solving modern day problems becomes the driving force of the module. Each day in class, students work towards understanding and solving “the challenge” through content and skills. The modular approach of learning provides context-based Common Core Standards content, and enables students to complete the challenge at a high level of quality.

“The goal for us was to construct a system that was functional and efficient. After having our design all sketched out we started construction. We used water bottles and other recyclable components to create the system. We learned so much about hydroponic technology, how it can be simple, and maximize space for food growth.”

—County Prep Students