Pathways offers Eco Pods as their next project

Ava Cheney
The door to the Pathways office.

Photo by Ava Cheney

The Pathways center door is located just off of the cafeteria. This is where teachers and students can go to submit ideas for projects like Eco Pod, which is currently set up there.

Eco Pods were created with the intention of assisting in the restoration of the earth after years of pollution and damage. These Eco Pods are buildings consisting of reusable energy or materials. Teachers have been gathering information about this project to implement it within the upcoming year. The Pathways program has begun to meet with local institutions to help create an Eco Pod. 

The Pathways projects are to help students get hands-on experience in a field they are interested in. The Eco Pod has a focus on exposing students to create skills in their field.

“One goal is just to get business and industry working with students and get them some exposure to what is available and what is happening in the real world,” industrial teacher Todd Kapsner said.

Eco Pods can be many things, like filling up reusable containers or renewable energy housing. Students are going to focus on making a net zero house, which is the Eco Pod they created.

“We are working with a couple of employer partners, Renewal by Andersen and a company called GreenHalo Builds, a custom home builder that specializes in sustainable, net-zero ready homes, Carrer, and Pathways Coordinator Bob Manning said.

This is a work-in-progress project, and many are figuring out what they can do to help. All teachers with classes that could add elements to this project have reached out.  Green Halo and Anderson collaborated with them on this project to help provide for this Eco Pod.

Kapsner said they are hopefully going to work with Green Halo Building. This is not for sure at the moment, but it is a potential partnership. He stated that this project will undoubtedly take place because it is the ultimate goal.

I think that anytime you’re taking interest in something that is career-related, it’s a great opportunity. Because the worst thing that you know, will happen is you’ll learn that maybe you didn’t enjoy it.”

— Chris Mentz

They require students who have taken metals and jewelry class to understand how to weld for the building. They need students who have taken physics to figure out the science and math portions of this. As well as possibly some business students to help sell and advertise the Eco Pod.

“Either conceptual physics or general physics would be one of the classes. But of course you also have Mr. Kapsner and Mr. Kahl’s classes, in terms of they would be the ones who would be more interested in building it. The people who are in a physics course would be more interested in the underlying engineering of the project,” physics teacher Chris Mentz said.

One reason students should participate in this project if it interests them is that it gives them real-world examples. This project will help students decide if this is truly the right course for them. Since this is a pathways project and not a class, students will be helping with a true job in their interests. 

“I think that anytime you are taking interest in something that is career-related, it is a great opportunity. Because the worst thing that will happen is you will learn that maybe you did not enjoy it, and it will tell you something about where your career interests lie,” Mentz said.

If students are interested in these subjects or just the Eco Pod in general they can stop by to the Pathways office in the Cafeteria for more information. This will provide every student involved with job experience for what they believe they want to do in life.