Shipping containers arrive for Marietta City Schools’ Haiti project

    Mary Kate McGowan
    MARIETTA — After three years of planning and preliminary work, Marietta School District’s engineering pipeline’s project will now become a reality.

Thursday afternoon, trucks delivered six shipping containers to Marietta High School that kindergarten to 12th-grade students will transform into a sustainable lab.

“We’ll begin to now have a dedicated space for kids from kindergarten to 12th grade who will be able to work and develop and research in,” said Leon Grant, a pre-engineering and pre-architecture teacher at the high school. “It’s a test bed for students to actually develop real-world research.”

Marietta’s engineering pipeline connects students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math. The group has been working to create a site to house various sustainable facilities including experimental gardens, workshop space, a community area and a greenhouse to provide food for Haitians.

Grant said about 150 high school, 240 middle school and more than 600 elementary school students are involved.

Marietta High School students will create an engineering and architecture research laboratory for sustainability, “EARLS Lab,” from the six shipping containers, which were donated by Google.

Marietta Middle school students — and Grant’s wife, Vickie, a Marietta Middle School eighth grade teacher — have been working on developing aquaponics — agricultural systems that are nourished from farmed fish waste.

At the elementary level, Park Street and Hickory Hills elementary school students have been developing compositing and aquaponics for the project.

“To actually see it come together is amazing,” Grant said.

When finished, the lab will be relocated to Plaine de l’Arbre, Haiti, said Grant.

Marietta’s engineering pipeline students now have six shipping containers — each 40 feet long and nine-and-a-half feet tall — to work with in the high school’s parking lot.

Grant said the containers will be cut in half and be stacked to become two-story units with the help of local business partners this spring.

Next semester, Grant said the high school students will build the structure, install the roofing and cut the windows and door openings.

Sophomore Mohamad Jallow said some of the high school pre-engineering students are already working on the project any chance they get.


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