Students Build Geodesic Dome Greenhouse to Enhance STEM Studies

Connect A Million Minds Initiative Leaves Another Group With Lasting Benefit

JAY, Maine -- Using a grant from Time Warner Cable's Connect a Million Minds initiative, 8th graders from a small town in western Maine recently constructed a geodesic dome greenhouse to enhance their studies of science, engineering and math.

The project illustrates how Time Warner Cable's philanthropic focus on science and technology education is impacting kids' education at the local level.

The idea for the dome came from two students, Erik Taylor and Dustin Jones, members of science teacher Robert Taylor's gifted and talented class at the Jay Middle School.

Working with Mr. Taylor, the students applied for and received the grant through the Maine Commission for Community Service, which partners with Time Warner Cable on science and technology service learning grants in Maine.

Taylor's class spent months studying a range of subjects, from dome geometry and engineering to plant science and the art of growing vegetables. Fresh produce grown in the dome will be used in the school's cafeteria and at the local food pantry.

Those studies culminated on June 12 when the 8th graders, along with nearly 100 members of the community, came together to build the dome on school grounds. Among those who participated were members of Jay's Public Works Department, which built the dome's foundation.
But while the construction took just a day, the lessons from the dome are really just beginning.

"I can't tell you how many science lessons I plan on teaching using this structure," Robert Taylor said. "I'm waiting for the day when there are fresh green beans on the salad bar and the sign says `Grown in the Dome.'"

Watch a video of Jay Middle School's geodesic dome construction here: http://www.twctv.net/video/bio.wmv