Kayvon G. – BASIS Scottsdale

BASIS Scottsdale Senior Kayvon G.

Inner-City Schools: an Exploration into Sustainable Buildings

Project/blog link: Inner-City Schools: an Exploration into Sustainable Buildings
BASIS Advisor: Mr. Alex Covalciuc
Internship location: BlocPower
Onsite Mentor: Mr. Jamil Ellis, CTO

Project Abstract

Since 1999, people living in close proximity to a major pollution source in The Bronx, New York have been 34% more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. This statistic is particularly troubling because Bronx schoolchildren are exposed to high levels of air pollutants in their neighborhoods, causing them long-term respiratory problems. Not only must these schoolchildren face inequities in air quality, but also in their learning of core scientific courses. In recent years, third party companies have attempted to remedy this disparity by holistically evaluating the engineering systems of school buildings in an attempt to improve energy consumption. BlocPower, an organization that gives loans to inner city buildings to build energy projects, is able to accomplish this feat by examining the boiler, heating/cooling, and lighting systems of underserved buildings and then in turn installing cleaner and safer retrofits to reduce potential high energy costs and pollution. My role throughout is to act as both a quality assurance tester and a hands-on rooftop school garden volunteer. In addition to examining the environmental benefits of these retrofits, my project also explores the ways in which these energy improvements have also affected STEM-based curricula in the inner city. I hope that through a close examination of recent case studies and community involvement groups, my project will track how urban solutions to the inner city school problem is expanding from a dialogue about low air quality and poor scientific courses and into a conversation about green education and its nuanced benefits.

Inner-City Schools: an Exploration into Sustainable Buildings