Thanks to a collaborative project that’s putting stormwater management center stage in classrooms across Benson High School, the Benson High School Rain Garden Initiative was formed. The project brings together the City of Omaha, Omaha by Design, Benson High School (BHS), the Benson-Ames Alliance and Community ReDesigned to plan, design, install, maintain and promote a new rain garden on the grounds of the school.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to apply their classroom knowledge to a ‘real world’ project in real time,” said Lisa Dale, principal of Benson High School and chair of the Benson-Ames Alliance Steering Council. “It’s allowing them to think imaginatively, work in teams, interact with professionals, manage a project and present material in front of an audience. Our students recognize that these skills are going to serve them extremely well, no matter what they do.”
At the beginning of the fall semester, representatives from the partnership met with Benson faculty to determine their individual interests for participating in the project. The response, said Benson High School magnet coordinator Peggy Pavlik, was positive, and ran the gamut from math, earth science and chemistry instructors to those who teach computer aided drafting and marketing. Students then began work on the initiative by selecting a project name, logo, and location for the rain garden.