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Geosphere and Globalsphere combined for the ultimate journey to James Madison University in Harrisonburg. The first location students visited was Wayland Hall. This residence is unlike any other; it is one of the few buildings in the nation with a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum rating. As students toured the facility, they were not surprised that the residence hall received this rating. From furniture made of recycled material to carbon-dioxide censors (to control air conditioning) to local limestone bricks, this building truly was an environmental success.


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After visiting the inside of a dorm room, students gathered outside to talk about the renewable and recycled aspects of the hall. They learned all about Wayland Hall's use of a riparian zone. This zone captures rainwater, stores it, and then reuses it in the toilets. Outside, students also discussed the monetary aspects of Wayland. The initial renovation was much more expensive than the traditional renovation. "This related to the cost of comfort because they kept the building energy efficient, but it costs more and pays back later," summed up Jessica. This is entirely true: while it cost about 10% more to renovate Wayland, it will eventually bring in money and save electricity (upwards of 65%). "I learned that you can save money by recycling," Madi said.


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The final stop on the JMU tour was the "Science on a Sphere" exhibit. "'Science on a Sphere' was my favorite part of today," remarks Kyle. This feeling was unanimous throughout the Geosphere. Students were in awe as they saw a simple sphere illuminate with a perfect replica of the Earth as seen from space. Our guide projected different pictures onto the globe that showed different environmental situations (i.e., how the Earth looks like in the dark, what the Earth would look like without water vapor, etc.). Next, the globe transformed into a panoramic video screen as it showed how vital it is to conserve the Earth's resources, leaving a lasting impression on students, interns, and teachers alike.


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