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Gen 7 classroom uses nearly 100% recyclables
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Victoria Brunn, who is the sustainable coordinator for MUSD’s Leadership On Green Initiative Committee, talks to students at AMS, manufacturers of the eco-friendly, high performance Gen 7 classrooms. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/ The Bulletin
From the blue jeans to day-to-day items such as bottled water, students selected as Environmental Stewards discovered Thursday that nearly everything can be recycled to good use.

Case and point of that is the Gen7 eco-friendly classroom manufactured by Manteca-based American Modular System, 787 Spreckels Ave.

Over 40 local sixth-grade students came away amazed after touring the prototype at AMS, developer of modular classroom units.

“I heard students say, ‘why can’t we have one,’” noted spokesperson Maggie Hartley.

A school in Salinas recently had six of the Gen7 classrooms installed. Since 90 percent of the units are manufactured at AMS – similar to that of portable units – the job was completed within 60 days, according to Harley.

Unlike the portable units, the Gen7 classroom has a lifespan of a conventional building.

The structure is not only designed to look aesthetically pleasing but is equipped with energy-efficient windows and superior acoustics while keeping out external noises.

The Gen7 has been deemed a healthy learning environment. Hartley, for one, prefers working inside the prototype rather than one of the offices in the AMS building.

In addition, nearly 100 percent of the structure is composed of recycled items. Take the insulation, for example, where students learned that the material was made up of old denims.

The Gen7 saves on electricity, instead, relying on reusable energy via solar panels.

“It uses no (electrical) lights but rather natural daylight,” said Hartley.

This day, however, belonged to the students.

Each school selected two sixth-graders to serve as Environmental Stewards, in turn, using the lessons acquired from this first-ever sustainability education event held at the AMS manufacturing facilities.

Susan Saunders, principal of Mossdale School, called Brendon Tabofunda and Meggan Ochoa her “Go Green Ambassadors.”

She added, “Both are good students and can think outside the box.”

Tabofunda, Ochoa and others can now look to create and implement recycling programs at their respective sites.

 “They know the basics of recycling, sustainability resources conservation, and environmental stewardship,” said Victoria Brunn, who is the sustainability coordinator for MUSD’s Leadership On Green Initiative Committee (LOGIC).

Hartley noted that it was a good fit for Gen7 to partner with the local school district, particularly, with LOGIC already committed to providing innovative teaching opportunities and programs.

AMS has worked with LOGIC since its inception in 2009.