Students Tour Eco-Friendly Dwelling at Penn State
A group of Grier science students took a field trip to Penn State to visit the University’s Sustainability Center where the students took a look at the center’s Eco-machine and Morningstar House. The students observed how humans can take advantage of the nitrogen cycle in a very unique ecosystem of plants, snails, bacteria, macro-invertebrates, waste water, rocks, and bio film. They learned about the power of duckweed. It can be consumed by animals and humans as a source of protein. It is a hyper-accumulator, pulling massive amounts of phosphorous and nitrogen from waste water, but it is still edible. Additionally, it can be crushed for use as a plant fertilizer or be used as a biofuel! It is basically the super-plant of the future. At the Morningstar House, students observed some practical applications of concepts they have been learning about in class. The house itself was the result of a collaboration of 800 PSU students and its design took fourth place in a nation-wide contest.