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UTA Research Team to Launch GREEN STEAM Project

July 26, 2016

David Hopman

David Hopman, Associate Professor and Interim Program Director of Landscape Architecture, will serve as co-principal investigator for an interdisciplinary research project titled “GREEN STEAM: Using Principles of Design to Power the Development of Outdoor Educational Spaces.” The project has been selected for funding by UTA’s Office of the President as part of its Interdisciplinary Research Program to promote collaboration at UTA across academic units. David Sparks, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the College of Education, will serve as the project’s principal investigator. Amanda Alexander, Assistant Professor of Art Education at the College of Liberal Arts, will serve as a co-principal investigator.

GREEN STEAM will provide resources for area schools to incorporate elements of design into outdoor learning labs, or green spaces, and make them sustainable learning environments on their campus.  The goal of the GREEN STEAM project is to create a research-driven network of schools in North Texas and eventually across the state.  Other outcomes include an interactive website, a resource guide for schools to follow best practices when building their spaces, an annual GREEN STEAM conference which will be a coordinated effort at UTA, and published research about the effectiveness of the green spaces for encouraging student engagement in STEM.  A mini-grant seed program component will be implemented for Arlington ISD. Five schools within the district will be chosen to participate in the creation of new green spaces. The project is set to begin August 2016.