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Students from Akins High School toured the University of Texas at Austin campus as part of the first pilot Sustainability Tour. The high school students learned about sustainability and college opportunities through interactive activities, talks and laboratory visits.

“Our goal is to connect people interested in learning about sustainability, while also showcasing UT’s efforts in sustainability,” said Kristen Cetin, University of Texas Civil/Architectural Engineering PhD student.


Cetin, an NSF IGERT Fellow and graduate researcher, is leading this project along with other students and staff members. While walking around campus, students discussed UT’s sustainability features, including public transport, landscaping, architectural design of the buildings and more. The organizers look forward to welcoming more middle and high school groups in the the Spring of 2015 and developing the program further.

Presentations featured:

  • Jester Garden, a student led garden for campus dining halls.
  • Environmental Science Institute, a new interdisciplinary science program at UT that aims to advance the understanding of the environment and sustainability through the development of interdisciplinary research, education and outreach programs.
  • School of Architecture’s Thermal Lab, an outdoor Architecture testing facility for state-of-the-art research on innovative façade design.
  • Maker Space, an Engineering studio equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, 2D routers for manufacturing printed circuit boards, a plasma cutter, a small three dimensional CNC, testing and electronics equipment, hand tools and more.

Special thanks to Ashley Gahan, AP Environmental Science, Environmental Systems, and Chemistry teacher from Akins High School, as well as the Sustainability Tour Team: Kristen Cetin, Sharon Zhu, Mariana Silva, and Mustafa Monk. Funding for the development of the Campus Sustainability Tour was provided by The Green Fee program, a tuition fee for green projects and research at UT. The City of Austin Office of Sustainability also funded transportation, making it possible for Akins students to visit the UT campus.

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