Playa Vista Elementary School has opened, featuring a unique partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District, the local community and LMU to develop a model demonstration school featuring science, technology, engineering and math education.As part of this collaboration, the children of LMU faculty and staff will be able to attend the innovative school, while LMU’s School of Education will provide research-based teaching methods, best practices and professional development.The LMU Center for Urban Resilience will also provide environment curricula tied to the school’s proximity to the Ballona watershed and adjacent Discovery Park. Eric Strauss, the center’s director and President’s Professor of Biology, will coordinate the ecology-specific programs in collaboration with the Friends of Ballona.The 575-seat school features 24 classrooms plus technology and science labs, outdoor educational spaces, including a “learning garden.” The building has an eco-conscious design using solar energy and environmentally friendly building materials. “It’s an exciting [first day of school] for my daughters,” said Eileen De Alva-Gonzalez, alumni development and communications manager at LMU. “They are starting a new chapter in their educational career, at a brand new school where they will be inspired to learn science, technology, engineering and math.”Shane Martin, dean of LMU’s School of Education, greeted parents and students. “This is really a wonderful launch to what will be a model teaching demonstration school, giving us the opportunity to share research-based best practices that benefit the community, the school district and LMU,” he said. {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/0824/lmuschool/{/gallery}