Our school is striving to become a model learning center and showcase for sustainable living in the Midwest. Educators would observe the progressive curriculum and model facility, enabling them to lead their own schools in sustainability.
We have a great start: 4,100 square foot greenhouse, all organic, vegetarian school cafeteria, edible landscape, recycling, limited solar support, a curriculum rich with sustainable learning and a Nature Explore Classroom certified by Arbor Day Foundation.
Next steps: Re-purpose a 10,000 square foot building into a Sustainable Learning Center featuring geothermal heating/cooling system, solar panels for electricity, and an energy dashboard so students can study green systems at work. In it, have a Seed-to-Table kitchen and science lab/sustainable classroom.
We are now known as a “green” school and are ready to evolve into the premier model for sustainability leading one student and one educator at a time.
Maharishi School’s Sustainable Living Program is designed to encourage our students to live their life in accord with the laws of nature. The program is home to a 4,100 sq. ft. greenhouse, located adjacent to a courtyard complete with butterfly garden, edible landscape and a 1.1 kilowatt solar power system. Maharishi Preschool, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, is creating the first certified Nature Explore Classroom in Iowa. Plans are now underway to re-purpose the current Media Center Building to become the Sustainable Learning Center which will house a seed-to-table teaching kitchen and indoor learning center located next to the greenhouse.
Currently, our sustainable living directors utilize the greenhouse facilities and courtyard to demonstrate how to use composting, companion planting and other organic practices to grow a large variety of fruits and vegetables. Students learn to apply their gardening knowledge through activities such as cooking apples in student-made solar ovens, making bean soup while discovering the nutritional and cultural value of beans, and serving mashed potatoes at their traditional Thanksgiving lunch using potatoes they grew earlier that year. Sometimes, students can be found enjoying the sweetness only available from a piece of fruit ripened by nature and picked directly from a fruit tree or berry bush they helped plant or water.
In addition, middle and upper school teachers incorporate sustainable concepts such as wind and solar energy, soil technology and bio-mimicry into their curriculum. Student projects range from building cold frames for the greenhouse to constructing a cob eco-playhouse for the Nature Explore Classroom.
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