Students at Belmont Ridge Middle Achieve a First-of-its-kind Creation as part of their Summer Sustainability Academy

A team of students at Belmont Ridge Middle School achieved a first-of-its-kind creation as part of their Summer Sustainability Academy. The future engineers created bio-friendly furniture using mycelium, a root-like structure of fungus. Through a partnership with Orblynx Academy, and with support from the AWS Incommunities Northern Virginia Sustainability Fund, the students created a bench that is displayed proudly in the school’s courtyard.

The Orblynx Academy’s Eco-Innovators Summer Academy is a progressive initiative that merges education and environmental stewardship. It's not only an opportunity for kids to learn about science, ecology, and the arts, but also to be a part of the vital global conversation around sustainability. It strives to spark students' creativity and innovative thinking by allowing them to work hands-on with biomaterials and create their own sustainable products. 

“These experiential learning activities empower students to be the future change-makers of sustainability,” stated Orblynx Academy owner Ferri Riar. “This innovative initiative serves as a tangible demonstration of sustainable alternatives, enlightening and inspiring others in the community, and exemplifies the power of collaboration in nurturing environmental stewardship among our youth.”

“This project is so important and relevant to our current issues with climate change and trying to find new substitutes for plastic,” stated sophomore Olivia Nugent.  “Working on this project with this truly incredible team was such an amazing experience. We needed to do a lot of innovating and troubleshooting with our furniture designs, but despite the challenges, the final product looks incredible and shows our hard work and dedication.”

Published August 1, 2023