Sinagua Middle School’s Scientists in the Classroom Program

Flagstaff, AZ | Submitted by Mindy Bell

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Kinney Construction Services (KCS) is the most recent business to join the Scientists in the Classroom program, founded by Jillian Worssam, at Sinagua Middle School. KCS is working with one of Gretchen Downey’s 8th grade MITe (Middle School Institute of Technology and Engineering) classes, and leading them through the process of commercial construction on an undeveloped site.

The first lesson focused on the many different people and careers involved in the construction business, including many engineering roles. KCS introduced an authentic case study that the students will follow through the year, as they continues their monthly outreach with the class. In the spring the students will likely visit the site on a culminating field trip. These highly-engaged students received stress ball construction helmets for answering questions on different jobs from initially surveying a site, designing the layout of the buildings for a site, and discussing how to make the project as energy-efficient and sustainable as possible.

KCS is committed to sustainable construction and was the commercial general contractor on NAU’s International Pavillion. NAU, KCS and RSP Architects won the prestigious President’s Award for Special Achievement, “Best of Show”, as well as the coveted Crescordia Award at Arizona Forward’s Environmental Excellence Awards. This new building produces as much energy as it uses onsite and is on track to be Arizona’s first “Net Zero” energy higher-education facility. It was recognized as a “Building of the Future” and as one of the greenest buildings in the nation. And it is now used to teach a new generation of future citizens!

The Scientists in the Classroom program has over twenty business, agency, and non-profit partners that meet monthly with students in a class they are partnered with at Sinagua Middle School.

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