Setting out Foundations

Congratulations to: Gail Sims (CPA Green Technology Grant Advisor), Chris Auld, Brady Mitchell, Heather Jackson, John Rutherford and Jen Kohl, all teachers at Vintage High School in Napa, California, who applied for, and were awarded a “California Partnership Academy (CPA) Green Technology Grant.”

Green Technology pathway courses are designed for students in grades ten through twelve. Developed in partnership with the State of California Department of Education, the local Napa Valley School District, and business/community partners to promote an educational pathway for high school students specifically in the field of green technology. Grant funds are designed to launch the program over a three-year period and at the end of the initial funding period the CPA Green Technology pathway is self sustainable based on curriculum, partnerships, and products produced.

The project is multi-disciplinary, involving the following classes:
• Engineering
• Sustainable Construction
• Alternative Energy/Physics
• Business Marketing/Management

The design of the initial school YardPod is not conventional. The roof is sloped more than usual in order to give the construction class experience in laying roof tiles. Also, the wall construction has been selected to provide experience with different materials and assemblies. Two walls are SIPs, one is Light Gauge Steel framing, and one is wood framing.

Starting the Floor Joists

Once complete, the Alternative Energy/Physics class will measure the thermal performance of the YardPod and will install solar panels with a battery back-up system.

Meanwhile, the Business Marketing/Management class has been developing a marketing strategy and a public relations campaign with the tag line “Think Inside the Pod.” Their goal is to sell one YardPod before the end of the current school year (all proceeds will go back to the school of course).

The grant funds the program for more than one year, so the students will build another YardPod next year to sell. They aim to achieve sustainability in the program for future years by applying the YardPod sale proceeds to purchase the following years materials.

I am delighted to participate with the students and teachers in this creative project and will post photographs as work progresses.

Malcolm Davies (YardPod Guy)

Setting Floor Joists.