Green Roofs for Schools
This photo is just one example of the many green rooftops in Iowa on top of public buildings. Green roofs are planted with a vegetative layer, growing medium, and a waterproofing membrane. They are utilized to reduce heat island effect, air temperatures and stormwater runoff as well as to provide a more aesthetic environment and habitat for small local wildlife.
Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions
- How do green roofs reduce human impacts on natural systems?
- What effect do green roofs have on stormwater runoff, heat island effect and air pollution?
- What are the tradeoffs and constraints using green roofs versus more traditional roofing methods?
- Evaluate repairing a school roof with traditional materials versus a rooftop garden using a cost/tradeoff graphic organizer.
- Develop 3D models of a building with a traditional roof and a green roof and investigate how each handles increased temperatures and stormwater runoff.
- Make claims, and provide evidence and reasoning about what types of plants should be used on a particular building in their community.
- Create a PSA about the use of green roofs in their community.
- Rooftop Sedums: A company website that features several projects around Iowa and surrounding states.
- Green Roof - A Thing of the Future... and the Present: Iowa State Agriculture and Life Science Colleges article about green roofs on campus.
- Teach Engineering: Lesson plan for students to model a rooftop garden and test for ambient and inside building temperatures.
- National Parks Service US Dept. of Interior Services: Basic information, benefits, and case studies about green roofs.
Iowa Core Alignment
Submitted by Michelle Seddon