As part of his duties on the Untied States Green Buildings Council (USGBC) Midlands Steering Committee, WTS Senior Associate, Gene Bell visited a STEM classroom to discuss sustainability and the LEED rating system.  Presenting with Gene was Jude Peck of Edens who is also on the USGBC Midlands Steering Committee.  The 4th grade class was in the process of putting together a project proposal for a new activities pavilion that serve their school, North Springs Elementary, in Columbia, South Carolina.  The students will be put into groups and will be required to make drawings and models of their proposals.  The class wanted to include as many sustainability principles as possible, including green power.

To aid the students in their exploration and to help them understand the LEED rating system, Gene described the sustainability initiatives that went into the design for WTS’ LEED Gold facility, Special Collections at the University of South Carolina.  Ms. Kimberly Parker, teacher of the class said the “visit ignited some inspiration with the students and also enlightened them on many of their ideas.”

Gene expects to make another visit to the class to see their final designs, after which, the students will present their projects to the School Board in hopes that funding could be set aside for the project.



STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.The term is typically used in addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools from k-12 through college to improve competitiveness in technology development. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy. (Source: Wikipedia)