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April 2017 Entry

STEM stems

Bonnie Taylor
East Orange · NJ
What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?

This was a grass roots project to revive lost land and create something new and viable for the school. Students are committed to this project and have support from teacher advisors. Our study body does not have a lot of outdoor exposure. Many studies show it is vital for children’s health and development to have regular access to natural settings, but this is extremely challenging for students in an urban locations. Creating a garden came from its numerous benefits;
• Garden based learning experiences address different learning styles and intelligences.
• Achievement scores improve because learning is more relevant and hands on.
• Students become more fit and healthy as they spend more time outdoors and start to choose healthy foods.

How will you use the $10k?

We recognize that our urban community does not have the much access to fresh fruit and vegetables. The community contains mostly small corner stores then large grocery retail chains that have larger produce sections. There are also no Farmer's Markets in the area so the availability to fresh produce is limited. Urban farmers and gardeners contribute to the social and environmental health of their communities. Developing a garden at the school not only builds an outdoor space for social interaction and community events, it also produces edible products.
Having garden at the school will reach beyond the classroom as students will share their excitement with their family and friends. This project will provide students valuable knowledge.

What impact do you hope to make?

We will measure our success with the crop count and harvest count. In addition, we will survey the students that participated in the garden work on their experience while volunteering. We will identify if they enjoyed the time they were in the garden and if gave them a sense of pride to contribute to the garden's success. We will also poll the student body on produce that they sampled from the garden, but had never eaten before.

Other Details

May 1st 2017-Spetember 30th 2017

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