Revere MS community dedicates STEM-focused SPARK Park

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Revere Middle School on Wednesday hosted a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new SPARK Park on campus.

The park features a new minimalistic structure, designed by University of Houston graduate architecture students, and provides an attractive entryway to the school that doubles as a covered bus stop.

But there is more to this shelter than meets the eye.

“The new shelter not only enhances the look of our entrance, it’s a nice place for students to gather before or after school, plus they can charge their phones while their waiting for the bus,” said Revere Principal Hafedh Azaiez.

Revere, which was renovated under the 2007 bond program, is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) magnet school. With that in mind, the UH student architects designed the park with aspects of each discipline.

For the science element, a continuous gutter is integrated into the steel shell so that water is collected and stored in the benches to irrigate the surrounding landscape. Technology was incorporated by installing solar panels that connect to a battery system which powers charging stations for cell phones and other small devices as well as an LED lighting system.

The engineering aspects of the structure include a stressed steel skin over angle trusses and steel cables connected to benches which add stability and aid in rainwater collection. Sun geometry incorporates mathematics into the project. The orientation and form of the roof allows the winter sun to penetrate the inhabitable space of the structure while the summer sun is blocked.

When the park is completed it will feature artistic tiles created by Revere students and education panels that describe the structure’s integrated STEM principals with detailed lessons and graphics.

”SPARK Parks come in all shapes and sizes,” said Kathleen Ownby, Executive Director of the SPARK School Park Program. “The Revere project, while small in size, is truly unique, providing a functional space for students and the community while highlighting the STEM emphasis of the school.”

The SPARK Park organization works with schools throughout the city to build parks that students and the entire community can enjoy. This week, in addition to Revere, SPARK Parks were dedicated at HISD’s Chavez HS, Helms ES, and Port Houston ES.