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Red Deer school shows off new passive solar greenhouse

Students learn how food while incorporating math, science, and language arts
A grand opening was held for Come Grow With Us Passive Solar Greenhouse at Normandeau School on June 13, 2023, with a free community barbeque hosted by the Central Alberta Co-op, and free family activities. (Contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)

Normandeau School celebrated the completion of its new Come Grow With Us Passive Solar Greenhouse earlier this week.

The $250,000 project utilizes the latest building technologies, reduces the school’s carbon footprint, and allows students to learn valuable life skills.

“The greenhouse has created a living classroom for students to apply traditional knowledge in a hands-on environment while learning practical life skills,” said principal Kim Kirkwood, in a statement.

“This is a learning environment that no other school has, and it engages students from pre-kindergarten to Grade 8.”


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The greenhouse will allow students to learn how food grows as well as use math, science, and language arts curriculum throughout the process.

The concept for the project was developed in 2018, with construction last fall.

The sustainable, low-impact, cost-effective greenhouse targets four seasons, which will apply solar energy technologies. It also has an open-sourced, printable design that other schools and community groups can utilize, and has the potential to change the greenhouse industry in Alberta through applied research in conjunction with SAIT Green Building Technologies.


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“We are grateful for the many partnerships that have evolved as a result of the Come Grow With Us Passive Solar Greenhouse. We appreciate each sponsor’s commitment to the lives of kids through their support of the greenhouse,” Kirkwood said.

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