James Cameron’s record-shattering film Avatar, about mankind’s interaction with nature, inspired many – one of them his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron. She and her sister, Rebecca Amis, took that inspiration to start the Muse School in Calabasas Highlands, an idyllic campus that utilizes green technology and a student-centered teaching philosophy.
Avatar’s setting, Pandora, was an environmentally sustainable utopia, and that is what Amis Cameron envisioned with the opening of her new school. “I had a dream to create a school where students learn who they are as individuals, to learn their own way and at their own pace … and to inspire each other and the planet,” she said at the ribbon-cutting of 22-acre campus. “That dream is now a reality.”
The eco-campus underwent a renovation to incorporate recycled glass and concrete, repurposed wood, and renewable energy components like solar energy. The school currently has nearly 60 students enrolled, ranging from age 2 through fifth grade – including the Camerons’ three children.
“Aesthetically, it was what we were looking for,” explained James Cameron. “We knew we didn’t want it to be in town – we wanted a rural atmosphere. We wanted our own ecosystem in our setting.”
Students at the Muse School will plant, grow, and tend vegetables in a campus garden and greenhouse, take daily hikes on the school’s expansive grounds, and be subject to a ban on environmentally harmful items such as plastic bags, bottles, and straws, cellophane, and more as part of the school’s ultra-green philosophy.
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