You are browsing the archive for high school.

High School Curriculum Proposal 8

4:29 pm in Curriculum Proposals, Education by Ted Ullrich

Submitted by
Cassie Thiem, from
Al Raby High School for the Community and Environment
Chicago, IL

Grades
9-12

Subjects
We plan on engaging the window farm with our:
Science Classes: Environmental Science and Biology
Art Class, Autism Class, 9th Grade Hunger Awareness Unit
Culinary Arts club and Environmental Justice Club

Overview
With our GREEN Community Schools Program, we have a full-time resource coordinator working with each of the school’s teachers on integrating environmental literacy and sustainability education into each subject’s curriculum. Through GREEN Community Schools we host a variety of eco-projects ranging from vermicomposting, reuse art, biodiesel program, native plant gardens and urban agriculture and the window farm would be an integrated part of our overall vision for Al Raby as a green school.

Our Environmental Justice Club has been learned about vertical farming in an effort to extend our limited Chicago growing season further into the school year so we can include our garden work and food development within our classroom curriculum. On a field trip to Garfield Park Conservatory, students saw a window farm created by the University of Illinois Extension program and began seeking how to create a unit for Raby.

Here are the areas students from our Environmental Justice Club feel that window farm could be part of Raby’s various classrooms:
+ Building, care and maintenance would be handled by our Environmental Justice Club.
+ Herbs could be used in both our Culinary Arts after-school offering and in our Autism program.
+ Plant seeds and leaves could be used in our art classroom for nature inspired art projects
+ Used as a model and tool in both our Environmental Science and Biology Classes
+ Student Science Fair opportunity to compare plant growth and health of window farm vs. conventional growing

Further each year a Hunger Awareness Unit is integrated across the entire 9th grade curriculum. A large part of this unit is educating students on food deserts in all subjects, including the food desert in our school’s own ward and surrounding neighborhood. We hope to utilize the window farm to engage students in growing food indoors to help them realize that the ability to grow healthy food is not limited to the amount of land you have.

Learning Outcomes
We think the window farm would benefit our student’s learning by giving a hands-on classroom tool that serves a variety of subjects, extends our growing season and empowers our students to understand their capacity to grow food in any space. It provides an accessible tool for many classrooms both in and beyond the school day serving both academic and social objectives. During the school day it would be integrated into our science lessons and hunger awareness project, beyond the school day in culinary arts and environmental justice club and in our enrichment classrooms including Art and Autism program.

Assessment
Assessments would primarily include written reflections and group discussions on incorporating the window farm into our overall vision for our green school. In our Hunger Awareness Curriculum students would analyze how the model of window farms could reduce food deserts in our community.

High School Curriculum Proposal 7

4:28 pm in Curriculum Proposals, Education by Ted Ullrich

Submitted by
C. Anthony Finney, from
Flushing International High School
Flushing, NY

Grades
9-12

Subjects
ESL Living Environment (Biology), Astronomy

Overview
Students from diverse backgrounds will cultivate culturally significant food plants utilizing the Windowfarms system. The presence of plants growing in the classroom will allow them to share prior funds of knowledge and develop deeper understandings of plant physiology, photosynthesis, the scientific method and human impacts on the environment.

NY State Science Content Standards addressed:
Standard 1 –
Key Idea 1 – Analysis, Inquiry and Design

Standard 4 – Living Environment,
Key Idea 4 – Continuity of life is sustained through reproduction and development
Key Idea 5 – Organisms maintain a dynamic equilibrium that sustains life
Key Idea 6 – Plants and animals depend on each other and their environment
Key Idea 7 – Human decisions have an impact on the environment

Learning Outcomes
Content Understandings – Spiraled instruction will address the basics of plant physiology (absorption, photosynthesis, transpiration, etc.) as well as exploring the role of plants as producers in the ecosystem, harnessing solar energy into a form useful to heterotrophic life forms. The alternative method of planting will allow discussion of alternative forms of agriculture to meet the needs of a growing population while reducing the human footprint on the environment. It will allow an informed consideration of the ‘vertical farming’ concept proposed by our city’s own Dr. Dickson Despommier of Columbia University, which advocates for high-rise urban agriculture. a class visit to the NYC Science Barge may also be possible.

Science Skills – Students will practice the basic skills of observation, reasoning and prediction in the process of cultivating their plants. They will be able to identify independent and dependent variables in an experiment, and use evidence to describe the relationship between the two, if any.

Language Skills – Students will have a real-world context for new language acquisition. By creating a task which requires members of different language groups to work together, they will have a need and opportunity to speak and to listen, especially in the culminating ‘world market’ day of sharing. Reading and writing modalities will be exercised as students prepare informational panels detailing facts about their cultivated plants, as well as in recording their own experiences (ethnobotany) with each plant in their home countries.

Interpersonal Skills – Students will work in small, heterogeneous groups to select the plant species for cultivation, grow the plant and use it to tell the story of its role in its native environment. For example, kids could describe how herbs they grow are important in the cuisines of their native countries. Having the plant itself to share will create a very tangible opportunity for cross-cultural exchange among the diverse groups in the classroom.

In a separate astronomy context, students could utilize the apparatus to simulate a no-soil growth conditions as might be encountered in long-distance space flight.

Assessment
Student assessment will be ongoing throughout the project, utilizing a number of formal and informal methods.

Prior knowledge will be elicited in an extended anticipation guide which describes the problem of slash-and-burn agriculture, and asks students to respond to a number of prompts. After organizing into ‘teams’ students will then interview family members about plants commonly found in their native countries. Using a think-pair-share method, kids will describe what others learned, before reviewing the suitability of various plants describes by the group for Windowfarming.

A scientific experiment will be set up to compare the yield and rate of growth between traditional cultivation methods (soil) vs. the Windowfarms system. Students will design an experiment which compares the inputs and outputs of each system in the classroom environment.

Daily observation journals will take place alongside parallel lessons on the water and carbon cycles, including descriptions of plant physiology. These observations should become more detailed as the plant matures, providing an opportunity for language development. An online spoken journal with accompanying photo images (Voicethread) may make a suitable project product format.

Using plantcultures.org, kids will research their group’s plants for their uses, cultural significance and history. Foods or products containing this plant may be prepared (possibly from the group’s own plant) for sharing.

In a culminating ‘market day’ students will create a space to share what they have learned in the format of a green market, in which outside classroom guests come to learn from the group more about each plant and its uses.

Formal assessments could include:
Homework on photosynthesis, Quiz on carbon/oxygen cycles, written research on plant background information, written and/or spoken lab report, describing the results ofvarying growth methods and a unit reflection.

High School Curriculum Proposal 6

4:26 pm in Curriculum Proposals, Education by Ted Ullrich

Submitted by
Pamela Hallsson, from
Humanities Preparatory Academy
New York NY

Grades
9-12

Subjects
Environmental Science, Botany, and Biology

Overview
I work at an inner city school in Manhattan were must students (if not all) have never experienced growing their own food or caring for plants. My school is an alternative high school for students who have failed at other traditional schools. A graduation requirement for all students is to perform and design their own experiment. I would love to use the window farms for their culminating lab. Students could study the effect of different groundwater contaminants on plant growth using the window farm system. It would be great to see how many of the columns are contaminated by the pollutant. I could see using the window farm system in many labs. I also run an after school club called “Eat Wise” were I teach using hands-on exploration and cooking activities to foster children’s enjoyment and consumption of healthy foods, as well as their appreciation for good nutrition. I would love to see them eating the very same Chard, tomatoes that they cultivated themselves. A window farm would be a great way to show sustainability and healthy habits both for our bodies and our planet.

Learning Outcomes
I hope students would learn how our everyday activities impacts our environment and how they can use this knowledge to make informed decisions with their food and their human footprint. I would also link the window farms into my unit on the water cycle. Students will be able to see first hand how water is cycled by our planet.

Assessments
For my senior students who would be using the window farms for their graduation requirement they would have to write a formal lab report which they present to a panel of outside evaluators. Where they would discuss their window farm experience and the knowledge they gained through researching about groundwater pollutants and their effect on the environment.

High School Curriculum Proposal 5

4:25 pm in Curriculum Proposals, Education by Ted Ullrich

Submitted by
Deborah Lewison-Grant, from
FoodFight
New York, NY

Grades
9-12

Subjects
FoodFight is designed to be integrated into a variety of high school content areas. New York State standards in Science, Health, Social Studies and English have been mapped onto the curriculum enabling teachers to present the class as part of a graduation requirement.

Overview
FoodFight is an nonprofit educational initiative that designs and implements food systems curriculum for inner-city public high schools. Focusing on issues of media literacy, food politics, nutrition and critical consumership, FoodFight’s goal is to revolutionize the way teens think about food and its impact on their lives. In partnership with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Teachers College Columbia University and The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education, FoodFight prepares cohorts of educators to arm students with the knowledge and tools that they need to make better eating and buying decisions.

FoodFight would incorporate the Windowfarms method of growing vegetables into curriculum modules on the environmental impact of the industrial agricultural food system as well the health and nutrition component of our program. It also naturally lends itself to the FoodFight cooking curriculum.

Learning Outcomes
FoodFight students are able to identify the health outcomes associated with an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption. They are also able to describe and quantify the environmental, social and economic impact of U.S. current farming policies.
Participating in the actual growing of vegetables enables students to see first hand the time, care and effort involved in growing healthy and sustainable fruits and vegetables. It also significantly increases the likelihood that students will eat the products they have had a hand in growing.

Assessment
Student learning can be evaluated through pre and post test evaluations that chart changes in attitudes, intentions and behaviors. Poster projects, in which students demonstrate the process of planting, growing, harvesting and preparing vegetables can be a powerful opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery and ownership of new material. A shared meal, incorporating Windowfarm produce and prepared by FoodFight students, can also be an effective way to highlight the importance of monitoring what foods students choose to put in their bodies.

High School Curriculum Proposal 4

4:23 pm in Curriculum Proposals, Education by Ted Ullrich

Submitted by
Philip Dickler, from
John Bowne High School
Flushing, NY

Grades
9-12

Subjects
Living Environment, Sophomore Carreer Agriculture, Senior Animal Science

Overview
As an FFA Advisor to the John Bowne High School Aquaculture Team, I teach students how to raise Tilapia, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, and Hybrid Striped Bass. As part of the Living Environment and Agriculture Curricula, the ability to incorporate Hydroponics will further the working understanding and application of “sustainable yield.”

Learning Outcomes
Through the use of Aquaponics, students will gain a better understanding of the application of sustainable agricultural practices in this time of limited human resources in the face of population growth.

Assessments
Through the hands on operation of a hydroponic system, students will be assessed through class examinations, as well as data collected regarding water quality, nutrient concentrations, and harvest records.

High School Curriculum Proposal 3

4:22 pm in Curriculum Proposals, Education by Ted Ullrich

Submitted by
Justin LeWinter, from
Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders, Brooklyn, NY

Grades
9-12

Subjects
Mathematics

Overview
Students have been working over the course of the year to design an urban garden to restore the natural ecology of a large parking lot adjacent to the school. We used models to represent natural phenomena in order to predict and test hypotheses. They then developed a scaled drawing of a garden plan and a written defense of their designs. With the future garden eventually moving from a design to being built we are now ready to turn our attention to starting seedlings.

With the acquisition of a windowfarm unit we would be able to investigate mathematically the biological needs of plants and collect data to monitor growth. Students will conduct a series of experiments that compare our window farm to seed starters grown in soil. Students will learn how to set up an experiment, collect and organize data graphically which will allow them to make conclusions. When the urban farm is completed we would eventually like to build a greenhouse in which we can later start teaching about hydroponics.

Learning Outcomes
Students will determine what can be measured and how, using appropriate methods and formulas. Students will use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena.Students will be able to gather and organize data in order to monitor and measure growth of plants. Students will make predictions that are based upon data analysis. Students will be able to work with and learn from new people. Students will be able to learn and apply new skills that will help them to be a leader in their school community. Students will create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate mathematical ideas.

Assessments
Students will participate in group discussions during class in addition to completing written papers that demonstrate the ability to collect data and analyze it graphically.

High School Curriculum Proposal 2

4:20 pm in Curriculum Proposals, Education by Ted Ullrich

Submitted by
Leah Dower, teacher at
Bellaire High School, Bellaire, TX

Grades
9-12

Subjects
Agricultural Science
Introduction to Agriculture
Landscape Design
Horticulture
Advanced Animal Science
Advanced Plant & Soil Science
Agricultural Mechanics
Aquaculture
Wildlife Management

Overview
I would be better able to explain hydroponics to my students if they were able to enguage in hands on activites to help them better understand the lessons that we are covering. We already touch on the subject of hydroponics, but do not currently have a set up to demonsstrate the process to the students, so they would actually be able to see what is happening.

Learning Outcomes
This will give them the hands on experiance to help them better understand the lecture that we are discussing and to be able to see the progress being made on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.

Assessments
Students will be evaluated based on the progress of their plants, theough group discussions, and written testing of materials.

High School Curriculum Proposal 1

4:18 pm in Curriculum Proposals, Education by Ted Ullrich

Submitted by
Jenny Kessler, teacher at
Automotive High School, Brooklyn, NY

Grades
9-12

Subjects
English and ESL

Overview
I teach a junior/senior elective entitled “Food, Land, and YOU”. The course covers issues of food justice and food politics. Students learn the social, political, and economic story behind their food through readings, farm visits, events, field trips to local butcher shops, etc. We have a school garden to reinforce this learning, but in the winter, we have no way of working with plants.

The windowfarm would be used to reinforce what we are learning in the classroom, including the difference between local and industrial foods, the benefits of sustainable growing, crop diversity, exposure to new plants and flavors, etc.

Learning Outcomes
The windowfarm would benefit student learning in many ways. High school students learning about food for the first time need a hands-on approach to reinforce lessons that can seem irrelevant or overly academic. Having plants in the classroom helps provides a clear example of (or contrast to) whatever we are reading about.
Learning goals and objectives include:
- understanding the food system
- understanding the difference between the industrial and more local food systems
- identifying energy costs and environmental impacts of our current food system
- familiarity with alternative sources of food (outside the industrial model) in nyc (farmer’s markets, garden, windowfarm, sustainably minded shops and restaurants, etc).
- identifying factors contributing to the obesity epidemic, and possible actions for change
- etc…
The windowfarm could help reinforce each of these objectives by providing a tangible example of the local food system and healthy food to use in class tastings and cooking demos (as well as for the afterschool cooking program).

Assessments
Student learning is constantly assessed throughout the term through group work, discussions, classwork, and larger projects and essays. In the past students have written reflective essays about farm field trips and working in the garden, persuasive essays about why hands-on learning is helpful and useful, and research papers on a food-related topic of their choice. Windowfarm could be incorperated into any of these.