April 24, 2013

Students participate in Greenhouse Extreme Makeover

The LSU student chapter of Engineers Without Borders recently participated in the Greenhouse Extreme Makeover at Capitol High School, another example of their commitment to the Baton Rouge community.

“We participate in many community service and outreach events each semester and are always looking for incredible opportunities such as this one,” said Courtney Rourke, mechanical engineering junior and president of EWB.

EWB partnered with The Dow Chemical Company and Career Academy to clean up the three greenhouses and clear out the storage building for use at Capitol High School. They also helped to plant Satsuma and orange trees and tomato plants. Not only will Capitol High students benefit from the cleaned greenhouses and storage building and the fresh vegetables, but also those at the Career Academy, which boasts a culinary arts program.

“This cleanup will make a huge difference to all of the students at the school,” Rourke said. “It was great to work with students and faculty from Career Academy and to hear first-hand how excited they were about the results.”

Civil engineering freshman Brendan Copley believes that the students of East Baton Rouge deserve the best education possible, which is why he chose to participate in the greenhouse clean up. He previously served as a tutor at Capitol Middle School for a year where he helped implement a community garden. Copley believes it’s very important for middle and high school students to be involved in classes that teach food preparation, starting with food straight from the ground.

“By watching the home economics teacher at Capitol Middle take her students out in the newly-constructed garden, teaching them about different herbs and vegetables they eat every day, I’ve seen first-hand just how enriching that experience can be for a child,” Copley said. 

EWB is at the start of their community outreach initiative, which will kick off in the fall. They’ll be involved in STEM outreach efforts at local high schools and will be partnering with one high school to make an impact on their campus and learning experience through science outreach, leadership training and opportunities and campus improvement projects. The greenhouse cleanup is the just the beginning of their outreach events.

“Being able to get out in the community with friends and other volunteers is incredible!” Rourke said. “It is a great bonding experience and helps our members to connect with one another and make new friends.” 

For more information about the LSU student chapter of EWB, click here

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Article written by Elise Bernard, communications intern. For more information, contact Cassie Thibeaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092. 



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