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JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — Cheyenne Sheppard, a sixth-grader at Nettleton Middle School, said she would enjoy living in a house made completely of homegrown bamboo one day.

Sheppard and her science classmates at NMS got to build their eco-friendly model homes during the first nine weeks of school while learning the importance of caring for the environment, the Jonesboro Sun reported.

“It is not hard to make houses out of bamboo and other eco-friendly materials, and it really helps the environment,” Sheppard said. “We have to be able to take care of our environment or else another generation might not get to enjoy it.”

The students recently got to present their designs “Greenville,” where all the houses were presented as a village.

Kelli Cochran, the teacher over the assignment, tries to teach her students how to be better global stewards, she said.

“I want to teach my students about how they impact the world, and hopefully when they are old enough, they will keep these lessons in mind,” Cochran said. “I want my students to see outside their own worlds and see the relevancy about what they are learning.”

Each student was given a checklist of items they had to include, but they were able to provide their own creative touch.

“Some of them had Tesla cars parked in the garages of their model home because they know it is an electric car,” Cochran said. “We had a girl who put working LED lights in one of her homes. Some students got really creative with their decorations, and they put their favorite snacks in the tiny shelves or cans of Mountain Dew in their tiny fridges.”

The students had to first design the home on a blue print to an exact scale, using centimeters to represent feet, and then build the model homes to the exact specifications.

The class will continue to learn about environmental techniques throughout the school year, Cochran said. The next assignment will involve designing ovens powered by solar panels, which Cochran said she hopes the students will be able to ship to Africa.

The students are learning at a young age about how to take care of the environment, and Cochran said she hopes they continue to become voices in global stewardship throughout their lives.

“It’s not that it’s our environment and we can do whatever we want with it,” sixth-grader Acelen Hart said. “It will not always be here like it is now if we keep messing it up and we really have to work hard to do better.”


Information from: The Jonesboro Sun,