Building Green Communities from the Ground Up

By Miranda and Chloe Trujillo

December 5, 2021

How can you change your community? A few of our classmates changed our school community at Fossil Ridge High School for the better. It all started when our STEM Academy teacher, Mr. Jesse Oswald gave our group the task of coming up with a year-long project-one that used engineering principles and would exist to teach us valuable skills.

At first, all we noticed was the intricate rubric we would need to achieve the highest grade. But along the way, we learned more than we expected. Our objective was to make a plastic bottle greenhouse out of recycled plastic water bottles. The project seemed doable on paper, however we had no idea how time consuming and labor-intensive it would become.

We pushed on through harsh weather and tough conditions. Every one of us experienced working hours in the snow, being drenched in the freezing rain, and being scorched by the intense Colorado sun, but with each piece we put together, there came confirmation that the goal matched a greater purpose than merely a grade.

We were anxious thinking that we wouldn’t finish this project in a year. The timeline seemed unrealistic at first, but we worked multiple hours and long days to see the project come to fruition.

The first order of business was securing structural integrity so we could get the roof up. We used corrugated plastic as the material for the roof and hammered all the edges in with screws . Quickly, we started working on the sides. We drilled holes for the metal conduits to go in and started filling them with bottles.