Project GreenHouse

Next project- Project Greenhouse.... Our not-so-greenhouse is about to go green - I mean really green. Our plan is take it completely off the grid and convert into an Alternative Learning Center - utilizing hydrogen fuel cells, wind, and solar pv cells to power the entire set-up. We are just in the research stages and plan to proceed immediately. We are also researching micro-environments and the requirements for controlling and monitoring it with robotics. Thank goodness we have some great minds in our robotics class.


United's Recycle Fashion Show An International Hit

Kelsey Isenberg shows off some "trashy fashion"

United's Recycle Fashion Show rocked the house. Over 100 kids got involved (grades 5-12)and some amazing fashions were created. Father Gabriel Zeis, President of St. Francis Univeristy was the guest MC. Also, a special thanks to the Judges: Renee Cambruzzi - Phipps Conservatory, Beth Bollinger - St. Vincent College, Dr. Janet Blood- IUP, and Gabriel Zeis. The winning fashions will be displayed at the Pa Dept of Education for the month of April.

Thanks to all the amazing sponsors:
Phipps Conservatory
Pittsburgh Zoo
Penn Future
CJL Engineering
Community Foundation for the Alleghenies
Wright Knox Shipping
St. Francis Univeristy
St. Vincent College
Coys Pizza
9th Street Deli
Grand Prize ($200) was provided by Principals For Change

News Releases:
Tribune Democrat
USA Today.com
International News


United High School Green Progress

Take a look at the green progress that United High School has made since September 08.... The link below will take you to the Green Advisory Board update. In the update, you can see all of the on-going green initiatives at UHS.
PS: I am a principal at United HS

Green Advisory Board Summary

PA Turnpike Commission Caught Green Handed

Pa Turnpike now has green parking spots at rest stops across PA. The special spots are designated for hybrid/flex fuel/enviro-friendly autos.

United High School Writes/Adopts Enviropact

United staff and students have worked together in order to come up with a comprehensive school-wide green pact. The EnviroPact is an agreement between students and staff on energy consumption/usage, recycling, composting and changing daily habits to more enviro-friendly ones.

Click here to see the United High School EnviroPact

Phipps Conservatory Caught Green Handed

Who better to catch green handed than Phipps Conservatory.... They invented green. This year Phipps has launched the Fairchild Challenge for the 2008-2009 school year in area schools across Western Pennsylvania.
United High School has been lucky to be involved with Phipps on this amazing year long program.
The Fairchild Challenge is a program of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables (Miami), FL. Launched in 2002 at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden as a pilot program; it has caught on to become a leading environmental education program now in its sixth year of success. Each year Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden trains other public garden and education sites to become satellite partners for The Fairchild Challenge. Engaging students world wide in environmental awareness.

Fairchild Challenge Goals:
*To increase environmental awareness, scholarship, and stewardship of teens.
*Engage a broad and diverse audience of students and teachers by extension, their families, neighbors, and communities.
*To help teachers meet academic standards in a fun and competitive way.
*To celebrate and award schools, students, and teachers for their efforts in environmental awareness.

Visit the Official Fairchild Challenge website.

Recycling Presents Major Challenges

Everyone thinks that recycling is a fun and easy way to get kids involved in the green movement..... Guess again. United's recycling program has been a work in progress. The first thing we learned was that schools are a major waste producer - and I mean major. The issue that we faced right out of the gate was storage. What are we going to do with tons of paper products and plastics? The sheer volume alone was staggering. We researched every possible solution. First we tried to go through the county. Indiana County has a much too limited program to handle our needs. Next, we thought about building a storage complex - but the overall costs and the involvement needed from the state and school district was overwhelming. Our next plan was to look at outside vendors to see if they could provide recycling bins and transortation. No luck- we are too remote. But we got lucky... We constructed a plan with the Recycling Center and Krise Transportation (Krise is our school bus provider). The county is supplying us with huge cardboard boxes to store the recyleable waste and Krise is transporting the material to the Recycling Center in Homer City. What an incredible partnership for us. Since November, we have recycled over 4000 pounds of paper products. We are starting with plastics next week.

United Goes Green

Since the walk, we decided that it was time to put up or shut up. Could we actually become a model green school or just talk about it? So we decided to take action. The first step was to get the right people involved. We assembled 2 teams:

1. Green Advisory Board
2. United Teacher/Staff Green Team

The Green Advisory Board consists of 2 Indiana County Commissioners, Dr. Patty Vathis - Pa Dept of Ed, Gabriel Zeis - President of St. Francis University, Erik Foley - Director of the St. Francis Renewable Energy Center, Tim Long - Director of Indiana County Recycling Center, and Gladys Wright Knox - Owner of Wright Knox Shipping. The Green Advisory aboard was put together in order to get valuable input and involvement from experts in the field of education and industry.

The School Green Team consists of teachers and students who want to make a difference and get involved in the greening of the UNited School District.