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An Interdisciplinary Approach to Increase Interest in Information Technology Through an Environmental Project. A Joint Partnership Grant between Claremont High School and the School of Information Systems and Technology (SISAT) at Claremont Graduate University. Background.

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An Interdisciplinary Approach to Increase Interest in Information Technology Through an Environmental Project

A Joint Partnership Grant between Claremont High School and the School of Information Systems and Technology (SISAT) at Claremont Graduate University

  • The grant is designed to engage students, especially female and underrepresented groups, through teamwork, problem-based learning, and a socially relevant topic in order to cultivate an interest in Information Technology.
  • The goal of the project is to leverage the experience of the members of both SISAT and CHS and develop a large-scale but sustainable intervention.
  • The grant includes CHS students in the AP Environmental Science and Computer Science courses as well as mentors from the faculty in SISAT who will conduct an Urban Ecosystem Analysis (UEA) of the CHS campus.
urban ecosystem analysis uea
Urban Ecosystem Analysis (UEA)
  • An Urban Ecosystem Analysis is a methodology for establishing the environmental and economic benefits of trees within a specified area.
  • Trees provide direct (reduce stormwater runoff, improve air and water quality, and increase carbon sequestration) and indirect benefits (decrease local ambient air temperatures through evapotranspiration thereby reducing air-conditioning use and carbon emissions from energy suppliers).
  • Trees provide communities with many valuable services that can be measured in terms of quantifiable benefits that may include:
urban ecosystem analysis uea1
Urban Ecosystem Analysis (UEA)
  • Saving Energy – trees provide building shade and help to mitigate the heat island effect and in so doing, reduce air conditioning use, electricity costs, and air pollution from the generation of electricity
  • Reducing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide – trees absorb carbon dioxide thereby lowering the rate of global warming
  • Improving Air Quality – trees absorb and filter air pollution plus they filter surface water and prevent erosion
  • Reducing Stormwater Runoff – trees reduce the infrastructure needed to manage stormwater and reduce the need for landscape irrigation
  • Aesthetics and Other Benefits – while more difficult to quantify, these include improved scenic values and improved human health and well being
environmental science task
Environmental Science Task

The AP Environmental Science class will work together as a team to collect data on trees of the CHS campus.

environmental science task1
Environmental Science Task
  • Students will:
    • Locate and identify trees on the CHS campus
    • Determine scope of tree canopy
    • Locate and identify buildings, pervious, and impervious surfaces on CHS campus
    • Determine the amount of Carbon dioxide and other pollutants absorbed by the trees
    • Determine the extent of shading provided by the tree canopy
coast redwood
Coast Redwood

Sequoia Sempervirens

Photo taken at CHS

California Native: Yes

Habit: Evergreen

Water Needs: Moist Soil

Height: Over 65 feet

Growth Rate: 36 or More Inches per Season

Shape: Conical, Erect and covers an Extensive Area.

Longevity: Greater than 150 years

Shading Capacity: Rated as Dense in Leaf

Health Hazard: Allergy

Biogenic Emissions: Moderate

crape myrtle
Crape Myrtle

Lagerstroemia Indica

Photo taken at CHS

California Native: No

Habit: Deciduous

Water Needs: Moist to Dry Soil. Drought tolerant.

Height: 25 feet

Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Season

Shape: Oval, Rounded, Umbrella or Vase, Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.

Longevity: 50 to 150 years

Shading Capacity: Rated as Moderately Dense in Leaf and Moderate out of Leaf.

Health Hazard: None Known

Biogenic Emissions: Low

computer science task
Computer Science Task
  • The Computer Science class will work together as a team to create a website that:
    • Presents the data collected by the AP Environmental Science class
    • Allows the public to view all relevant information
    • Identifies each tree by its description and picture
project outcomes
Project Outcomes
  • Students in both classes will experience first-hand the connection between Information Technology and Environmental Science issues
  • In addition to receiving training in GIS software use, students will be able to apply what they have learned in class to real-world situations