US Green Building Council-L.A. Selects S.T.E.A.M.-focused Eco-Tech Maker Space for Kids, Community as Greenbuild 2016 LEGACY PROJECT

Enduring, Replicable Project by Upcycles Waste Materials donated by Local Manufacturers

Los Angeles, CA (March 18, 2016) Last night, the U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) Chapter announced the selection of the S.T.E.A.M.-centric Eco-Tech Maker Space  as the Legacy Project, which will be unveiled for Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in  Los Angeles. The Greenbuild LA Legacy Project is a gift from the national USGBC and USGBC LA Host Chapter to Los Angeles for hosting the conference, and will be a permanent project  providing an enduring means of service, education, and thanks to the local community. The  Eco-Tech Maker Space will be built in the city of Gardena, and will initially service five area  Title 1 LAUSD schools, before being opened to the general community. 

Created by (formerly known as Trash for Teaching), the Eco-Tech Maker Space program will offer the community S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)  curricula, hands-on learning, and environmental stewardship emanating from the reuse of  discarded, safe manufacturing materials. 

Students—drawn from five Title 1 schools within a 1-mile radius of the project—first will help  build out the 500 sq. ft. space’s infrastructure themselves, between April 22nd and Sept. 1st, in  order to develop a sense of ownership and empowerment. Once built, the space will provide them the opportunity to consider a problem (e.g., design a futuristic car, or “Eco-Vehicle”),  brainstorm ideas, design a solution, build a prototype, and test/retest it. The outcome can be  very different from the original idea. The goal is to encourage them to understand the process  of creation, which includes trying again and again until they are satisfied with the results.  

“Everyone at USGBC-LA and especially on the Legacy committee is very excited about this  project!” states Dominique Hargreaves, USGBC-LA Executive Director. “There were a number  of valuable submissions that spoke to different criteria of a Legacy project. But the Eco-Tech  Maker Space not only brought together all the criteria, it represented our goal of an ongoing  project that will help create the next-gen of sustainably-minded problem-solvers who take  reuse to heart.” 

The Eco-Tech Maker Space is built on the idea of reimagining donated ‘rescued materials’ or  trash (e.g., wood scraps, thread spools, packing materials) from local manufacturers to use in  the kids’ creation process. Gardena is home to many manufacturers full of resources, but who

are spread out geographically. Students will be mentored at the space to build relationships  with these manufacturers, and create a digital repository, creating efficiency in the community  to organize and collaborate. Eco-Tech Maker Space will host digital outreach programs related  to 3-D Design, modeling, coding, and stop motion animation.  

With 15 of every 20 new jobs in California requiring S.T.E.A.M. skills (Los Angeles Times 10/31/11), students, parents, and teachers will benefit from integrating technology and  project-based learning.  

“We at T4T are thrilled to be selected for the Legacy Project and to get started building it out  with the students,” states Isai German, T4T’s S.T.E.A.M. Lab Manager and project lead.  “Hands-on learning, open-ended materials, and tool use allow students to examine and explore  the engineering design process as a conduit to formulate success. Simultaneously, being a  good steward of the environment is key to today’s design process. This combination fits  perfectly with the mission of the green building council.”  

With the Legacy Project selected, there is still an opportunity to have a Spotlight Idea  showcased at Greenbuild 2016. These ideas serve similar goals to the Legacy Project, but may  not yet be feasible or deliverable. Spotlight Ideas submitted to the website are intended to  encourage people to dream and help foster future projects for Los Angeles. To submit an idea and see criteria and deadlines, please visit There is no fee. 

Added Hargreaves, “I want to thank Legacy Project co-chairs Coomy Kadribegovic of AECOM  and Maya Henderson of Bentley Mills for their incredible work in coordinating their committee  and selecting such a perfect project for our Chapter and USGBC National to support. Now the  real work begins to have this up and running by September 1st!” 

Greenbuild, held in a different city each year, attracts over 30,000 global attendees and  includes the largest green building expo, numerous education sessions, workshops and  speakers, a Legacy Project, tours, art installations, and adjacent events. There are many  opportunities to be involved in Greenbuild for anyone interested in a sustainable built  environment. For developing information or to support this and other projects, please visit, or contact Dominique Hargreaves at  

The Legacy and Spotlight Idea website is made possible thanks to a unique media partnership with Wazoku (, a leading collaborative idea management software company 


About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles  

USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future  within one generation. Our mission promotes sustainability in LA County’s built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition and networking. (  

About is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 and based in Gardena, CA. T4T collects clean and  safe manufacturers’ cast-offs and upcycles these materials into educational tools, engaging students and  teachers with hands-on learning and environmental stewardship through the engineering design process. Approaching their 12th year of operations, has diverted more than 116 tons of waste from the  landfills, making them available for science and arts education.

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