Visit the SEED Classroom and Observational Beehive

Phipps' new SEED Classroom and observational beehive are now open for you to discover. Drop in on Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and a graduate of our Learning for a Greener Future high school internship will show you the new building's amazing features. No advance reservation is required. 

The Classroom of the Future, Built to Maximize Student Wellness and Potential

Unveiled in 2015, Phipps' new SEED Classroom is one of the nation’s first sustainable, modular classrooms. Developed by the SEED (Sustainable Education Every Day) Collaborative, the SEED Classroom, built to Living Building Challenge™ standards, features non-toxic materials, generates its own energy, and recycles water on site. Fabricated locally by EcoCraft Homes, it is one of only two of its kind in the U.S. and will model how classrooms of the future can be built to maximize student wellness and potential. The building shows what healthy spaces look like for kids and calls attention to the importance of providing healthy learning environments for children.

Observational Beehive

In 2016, with the help of apoidea apiary, Phipps installed an observational beehive in the classroom that allows kids to safely get nose to antenna with the bees. Phipps staff hopes to use the observational beehive to teach guests about the importance of pollinators and the plight that they face as their numbers continue to decline dramatically. 

The SEED Classroom was made possible by the generous support of the Rita M. McGinley Foundation in honor of Rita M. McGinley and parents Bernard L. and Katherine I. McGinley.

More Details

Click the sections below for additional details on project features and more.

Approximately 260,000 modular classrooms are in use across the country. Providing schools with a quick solution for expansion, they are commonly cited for the potential health risks they pose due to:
•    Inadequate ventilation
•    High levels of toxins, such as formaldehyde, flame retardants, phthalates and volatile organic compounds
•    Mold, excess moisture and musty odors
•    Inadequate lighting

Research suggests a correlation between access to nature and human health. Phipps aims to bring nature indoors and foster a new generation of environmental stewards. Other facility features include:

•    Use of non-toxic building materials
•    A green wall to treat greywater
•    Abundant natural daylight
•    Solar panels to produce 100% of energy needs
•    Sanitary water treated with constructed wetlands
•    Rainwater collected and filtered for building use or infiltration
•    Exposed mechanical systems that encourage student engagement and inquiry

Expected to impact thousands of children each year as the new home of Phipps’ science education programs — along with internship classes for underserved students, field trips, citizen science initiatives, and professional development opportunities for teachers — the SEED Classroom sparks scientific engagement.

Photos © Phipps Staff