Green Living Designed by Seventh Graders

Twenty seventh grade students participating in the University of Success Program built their vision of solar powered homes. Creative, yes, but also engineered based on sustainable, scientific concepts learned during two weeks of inquiry-based, laboratory investigations at this year’s summer institute. The soundness of their energy-efficient designs was reviewed by a professional engineer and two University of Scranton senior physics majors to select a winning design.

The Success students took full advantage of natural resources such as mountains, rocks, trees and sunlight for their energy-efficient designs that included large windows, innovative rooftops and technology.

This project was just one of a host of applied-learning exercises incorporated into a newly designed curriculum. Interactive learning exercises included excursions to Dorney Park to learn the physics behind roller coasters, The American Museum in New York to learn about climate change, a Nuclear Power Plant, the laboratories of The Commonwealth Medical College and area wet lands. They also visited the Pocono Environmental Education Center to study astronomy, bats and participate in other activities.

Now in its 14th year, the University of Success at The University of Scranton provides mentoring and tutoring in academics and social and cultural opportunities designed to motivate students to complete high school successfully and to enroll in post-secondary education. The program, offered free of charge to participants, is funded almost entirely by corporate and foundation grants. The program is administered through the Leahy Community Health & Family Center of the university’s Panuska College of Professional Studies.

Each summer year, 20 seventh grader students enter the University of Success Program through the Summer Institute and continue to participate through to high school graduation. 

For additional information about the program, contact Andrea Mantione, director of the Leahy Community Health & Family Center, at 941-6112.
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