S.T.E.M. Education Happens in a School Garden
Educators and parents are realizing that garden based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is both valuable and effective for educating school-age children. School garden plots are becoming more prevalent as people’s interest grows in teaching kids how food is produced, as well as giving them a hands-on experience in the garden that brings STEM curriculum to life. Whether or not you are a parent, school gardens are often looking for volunteers from the community. In order to become a volunteer, you may have to submit to a background check and fingerprinting, both of which help to ensure the safety of the children. But if you can jump through the hoops, gardening with children can be an extremely rewarding experience.
If there is no school garden in your area, here is some help for starting one at your local school:
Growing Minds trains people to establish farm to school gardens. The organization offers grants, a newsletter, lesson plans and free seeds to school gardens.
Let’s Move has tips for starting a school garden and a downloadable step-by-step guide, which offers important information about how to safely grow your own fruits and vegetables with students.
Using Gardening to Promote Stem by Kaplan
Slow Food USA’s National Garden Program offers technical assistance, resources and curriculum to school gardens.
The American Community Gardening Association website posts a long list of Resources for Gardening with Children.
Read more about school garden projects around the US:
More Than a Veggie Patch by US News and World Report
Garden Based Learning by West Virginia University, featuring the school garden at North Elementary School