Water-Smart Homes: Water Harvesting and Community Outreach Project

Climate is changing and Josh Ruddick wanted his students to be positive change agents. Given encouragement and knowledge, he knew that students could identify changes they could make in their own lives and at their own homes to help build community resilience and have an economic impact on their families.

Community partners helped students learn about the carbon cycle, climate change, the heat island effect in Tucson, and how policy makers must prioritize green infrastructure initiatives based on competing needs. Students then used knowledge gained about topography and green infrastructure methods for the southwest to create a water budget for a virtual landscape.

Project length

4 months



  • The greatest impact for the students was to realize how simple changes in infrastructure can have large impacts on shade, the heat island effect, access to food, and biodiversity.

    Josh Ruddick, Teacher
  • Students learned “how topography, and infrastructure impacts policy decisions when building community resilience.

    Josh Ruddick, Teacher

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