Urban Green Lab Presents: The Mobile Lab

Hey guys,

So this semester I volunteered with an amazing non-profit here in Nashville called Urban Green Lab. They debuted a mobile classroom and I was lucky enough to participate inside the lab. It goes to schools in the Nashville Metro area and educates kids about the importance of sustainability. The topics covered are food, renewable energy, water, eco-friendly building, and agriculture.

Ian Riley photography

The mobile lab can be scheduled by any school in the Nashville Metro area. The lab will replace a class time period of the teacher’s choice. Half of the kids participate in outdoor activities, most notably the smoothie bike.

Ian Riley photography

The other half of the kids are inside the lab rotating at stations every five minutes or so. Half way through the class period they switch. At the end of the mobile lab portion, Urban Green Lab goes into the classroom and goes over what everyone has learned. The favorite among students is definitely sustainability catchphrase.

Ian Riley photography

I was so excited to be able to help with this amazing project because I think teaching kids about sustainability while they’re young is so important. I learned so much from these kids as well. A lot of them hadn’t even heard the word sustainability before and it was so fulfilling to be able to bring such an important topic into their lives.

I loved getting to know about each kids’ personal relationship to being eco-friendly. Some kids recycled, some knew about composting, some said they would start to yell at their parents when they bought potatoes shrink wrapped. Being able to relate to them on their level and give them the momentum to go home and see how they could adjust their lives to be more eco-friendly was so much fun. The most relatable moment was definitely at the lightbulb station.

Ian Riley photography

The station enabled the kids to see how many watts a fluorescent, LED, and CFL light bulb use. Then they could calculate how much money that would accumulate after a year. Then I would ask the kids how many light bulbs they think they’ll have once they go to college. Once the connection between “being green” and “making green” happened, they were all about the eco-friendly LED light bulbs.

I can’t wait to see what the future brings for Urban Green Lab. I’m sure with this amazing staff it can only be good things.

Talk soon,

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