Chicago, IL // Spring 2021

Students from the 4th and 5th grade dual language science classes at John Barry Elementary School explored different aspects of making their school more sustainable.

The 4th grade green project was inspired by the installation of a native garden at the school, and the students explored how they could play a role in nationwide monarch-recovery efforts. The 5th graders investigated renewable energy and how to create a solar-powered classroom. Each class did detailed research and then presented their work to their peers and Green Schools Mentors as the culmination of the project. The Green Team also submitted three grants and received two grants — the K-12 Solar Schools Grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and the Cook County Solar School Grant. Once solar is installed at the school, it will allow students to observe how solar energy is converted into electricity for powering experiments in their classroom.

Project type: Native garden, habitat restoration, energy

Direct Impact of the Project

The garden and solar projects will indirectly benefit the entire school and community.






Professional Mentors

Educators & Staff:

  • Estuardo Mazin, Principal
  • Kevin Cooke, Engineer
  • Linda M. Coologeorgen, 4th & 5th Grade Science Teacher


  • Lois Kimmelman, Environmental Consultant and Manager of
  • Jason Meyering, Jason Meyering Architecture, LLC