Archive for the “Classroom” Category
The Department of Horticulture at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) requests proposals for innovative research, teaching and extension/outreach projects involving organics and sustainability in farm and food systems, and managed landscapes including gardens and green spaces.
Short proposals are requested from Cornell staff and students, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, and New York farmers. Project proposals will be reviewed and considered for funding up to a maximum $12,000 level, but PIs are encouraged to leverage and combine TSF funds with other sources of financial support to foster more ambitious project.
Proposals will be evaluated and prioritized for funding by a review panel of Cornell faculty, staff, students, organic farmers and other qualified experts. Project leaders of all successful proposals will be notified in late January, 2014.
Click for additional information or a copy of the full Request for Proposals in Organic & Sustainability Systems Research, Teaching & Outreach or please contact Maxine Welcome (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Neil Mattson (email@example.com).
Proposal Submission Deadline: Dec. 9, 2013.
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One third of our food supply depends on pollination. While bats, butterflies, hummingbirds, and wind are all common pollinators, bees are responsible for doing most of this critical work. In 2006, news regarding colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon that leads to the decline of bee populations, began to spread. Millions of dollars have been spent to determine the cause of the disorder, and beekeepers and beekeeping programs alike have multiplied to raise awareness about these significant pollinators and to encourage others to consider beekeeping. It is important that we teach students of any age about the importance of pollinators through activities such as beekeeping and planting native flower gardens.
(image courtesy of WholeSystemsDesign.com)
There has been a rise in popularity for beekeeping, including beekeeping in school gardens. In part the increase has been a response to colony collapse disorder, yet also an interest in learning more about the intelligent behaviors of this insect. Beekeeping can be integrated into the school curriculum in a variety of subjects. The obvious link is biology, but also students may study the origin of honeybees in a history or geography class, or perhaps a lesson on sugars with a look into how honey is made and comparing flavors of different local honeys. Math is another neat link, studying the geometrical shapes of honeycomb. Not only can beekeeping provide learning opportunities, then, but it can also teach students about stewardship, respect, and responsibility. The website www.pollinators.org provides a variety of pollinator curricula, games, and tips for implementing projects
Of course bees can be dangerous. Bee stings are uncomfortable and very serious to anyone who is allergic. As with most things on school grounds, take precautions to minimize possible risks; we suggest consulting an experienced beekeeper prior to planning to keep bees in schools, place the hive so that it is not accessible to children without supervision (many schools put them on a roof or behind a fence in a side yard), and always have a beekeeper present at the hive when students are watching it.
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A 4-H club in Erie County, “The Ladybugs,” recently videotaped the process of a bonsai tree project they completed. The Erie County 4-H Staff graciously shared the video with us. Enjoy!
This slideshowpersonalized with Smilebox
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A recent study, the “Impact of Garden-Based Learning on Academic Outcomes in Schools: Synthesis of Research between 1990 and 2010,” published in the Review of Educational Research in February 2013, determined that garden-based learning had positive impacts on student’s grades, knowledge, attitudes and behavior. The study reviewed 152 articles regarding the effects of garden-based learning and ultimately decided to include 48 studies in a final synthesis.
Results of this study’s review showed a multitude of positive impacts on both direct and indirect academic outcomes. Of the 40 studies assessing direct learning outcomes, 83% found positive effects. Science had the highest proportion of positive effects, followed by math with language arts. Positive outcomes were often attributed to “direct, hands-on experiences that made classroom learning relevant.” In regards to indirect academic outcomes, 80% of studies were positive; social development surfaced most frequently and positively.
Although results of the study were consistent across programs, student samples, and school types, the study calls for increased research rigor in order to systematically understand the academic learning incomes related to garden-based learning.
Interested in exploring how our garden-based curricula can be integrated into your school, family or community gardens? Our lessons, projects, and publications offer a variety of activities, projects, and curriculum guides that can help get you started.
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A Cornell University study published in a special issue of Developmental Psychology (Vol. 49:3) reveals that “children are natural scientists” who can “gather and assess evidence from the world around them.”
The study, lead by Tamar Kushnir, the Evalyn Edwards Milman Assistant Professor of Child Development and the director of the Cornell College of Human Ecology’s Early Childhood Cognition Laboratory, shows that preschooler’s can “infer what a person might know from watching what they do…and they can then use this [information] to choose whom to learn from.”
Researchers found that three to four-year olds’ understanding of cause and effect is influenced by information from other people, and that they can discern good sources of information from bad. Three to four-year olds, the study finds, are not entirely credulous.
Want to teach and cultivate the next generation of “natural scientists?” Cornell Garden-Based Learning offers a variety of multi-disciplinary activities which target knowledge and skill-building in the garden. Seed to Salad emphasizes decision-making and a multi-disciplinary approach while youth grow salad gardens. Dig Art! Cultivating Creativity in the Garden integrates gardening with the arts and ecological literacy. Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners (VVfG) and Vegetable Varieties Investigation (VVi) utilizes a citizen science approach to teach middle and high school aged youth about preserving biodiversity and connecting with the community.
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In the following TED talk, Pam Warhurst, Chair of the Board of the Forestry Commission in Great Britain, discusses the creation of Incredible Edible. Incredible Edible is a world-wide initiative Warhurst co-founded which is dedicated to growing food locally and which has also helped to implement food and garden education programs in schools and communities.
The local food movement, Warhurst states, “is a movement for everyone…if you eat, you’re in.” The language of food, Warhurst states, cuts across age, income, and culture, and “we are all part of the solution.”
Warhust urges communities to “make food visible” and to “encourage our schools to take [food issues] seriously.” “If we want to inspire the farmers of tomorrow,” Warhurst states, “let us say to every school: create a sense of purpose around the importance of the environment, local food, and soils. Put that at the heart of your school culture and you will create a different generation.”
Ready to get involved in the local food movement? Learn about specific vegetables and how to grow them with our Growing Guides. Check out our Seed to Salad project which engages young people in growing salad gardens of their own. Get involved with Youth Grow, a leadership program that trains youth to become actively involved in learning about and transforming their local food systems. Read about Discovering our Food System, an experiential learning program about how food gets from farm to table and how we, as eaters, are part of the process.
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This just in… Check out this Eco-Schools program from the National Wildlife Federation. The Eco-Schools program strives to model environmentally sound practices, provide support for greening the curriculum and enhance science and academic achievement. Additionally, it works to foster a greater sense of environmental stewardship among youth. Eco-Schools is currently being implemented in more than 50 countries around the world.
Through school-based action teams of students, administrators, educators and community volunteers, Eco-Schools combines effective “green” management of the school grounds, facilities and the curriculum.
Once a school has registered and implemented the seven steps, it can apply for an Eco-Schools award. There are three levels of the award system. The first two levels are the Bronze and Silver awards which are self-assessed. The top level is the Green Flag award, which must be assessed by an Eco-Schools USA assessor and renewed every two years. A school is considered to be a permanent Eco-School once it has gained its fourth Green Flag.
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North Country Jr. Iron Chef registration is OPEN – and both the middle and high school divisions are more than half full!
On December 1st schools/organizations can register more than one team per division.
Visit the event website at http://ncjrironchef.org/ to learn more or register a team.
More about the event… NC Jr. Iron Chef is a competition for teams of middle and high school students from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties, NY. The challenge is to develop healthy recipes, using a combination of local and commodity foods, that could be prepared in a school cafeteria. On competition day each team will prepare their recipe and present it to a panel of distinguished judges who will choose the winners! North Country Jr. Iron Chef… offers a positive, hands-on experience with healthy food for youth, shown to increase the likelihood that students will select and consume these foods; provides an opportunity to learn about and build lifelong skills related to healthy food purchasing and preparation; is a creative approach to addressing school food issues and engaging youth in the dialogue; & promotes the incorporation of local foods into school menus. North Country Jr. Iron Chef will be held on March 9, 2013 and is a project of the Health Initiative, in partnership with St. Lawrence University. Learn more at http://ncjrironchef.org/.
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Thanks for Community Works Journal for this article:
Can You Grow a Pizza? Big Questions in the Garden
By HEIDI REVELO
“Miss Heidi, can you grow a pizza?” asked 13-year-old Jenifer at the first Children’s Garden in Lexington, Nebraska. The sign stapled to the side of the garden box said “Pizza Garden” which was next to “Peter Rabbit Garden,” “Salsa Garden” and “Vegetable Tray Garden.” The sun was climbing in the sky and the middle school enrichment summer school students were sweaty although it was only 9:15 a.m. A dozen students watered the 30+ garden boxes and vining plants area, planted tomato plants and pulled up weeds.
“Well….no,” Miss Heidi answered wanting to laugh and smack the heel of her hand on her forehead to say, “What kind of question is that!” Instead she asked Jenifer a question. “Tell me, what’s in a pizza?” Now Jenifer was joined by two more girls. They hesitated and then one had an answer. “Sauce!”
Read the entire article>>
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It can be a challenge to meaningfully integrate gardening and learning. We really like the way Angela McGregor Hedstrom uses essential questions to expand on the gardening experience, and organize the big ideas, particularly with our youngest audiences.
Read this succinct and well-written article, and get started soon!
Angela McGregor Hedstrom taught at the Dryden Elementary School and Happy Way Childcare Center, Dryden, NY, while working with Cornell Garden-Based Learning.
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