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Living Machine™

Environmental sustainability is a watchword at Darrow School, where solar energy, wind power, energy conservation, and organic food production are parts of the fabric of school life. The Living Machine™, an environmentally advanced treatment facility, processes wastewater from campus buildings via a bio-mimetic system using bacterial and mechanical filtration, with students performing many of the crucial operations and gathering data as part of Darrow’s Shaker-inspired “Hands to Work” program. The school’s campus is a former Shaker village with over twenty National Historic Landmarks. “The Shakers were into technology and wanted to be good stewards of the land,” says Westcott, “and this is a way we can meet some of our environmental challenges following in their footsteps.” The Samson Environmental Center as a whole provides hands-on learning opportunities to students and teachers from Darrow and other schools as well as to professionals working in environmental disciplines up and down the Hudson River Valley. “It’s a living, breathing ecosystem,” enthuses director Craig Westcott, “where I get to play and help teachers integrate sustainability concepts into lots of different academic experiences for students across the curriculum.”

Does your school do something similar?

2 thoughts on “Living Machine™

  1. We have a Living Machine at Conserve School and it both lowers the cost of operating the school and provides students with a living laboratory. Kudos to the Darrow School on this excellent work!

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