A Scary Surprise for the School Principal

DIY Scarecrows are a fun STEAM Project that promotes creative solutions, teamwork, and interdisciplinary thinking. Four different teams constructed unique and imaginative scarecrows. They collaboratively fashioned outfits from ripped nylon hammocks, scavenged props from the toolshed to rubber band in scarecrow’s gloved hands, and bent wire into eyeglasses that even had tape lenses!

Every Teacher a Food Educator! How to Expand Garden-to-Classroom in Every School

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 9th National Farm-to-Cafeteria conference in Cincinnati, OH. Sponsored by the Farm-to-School Network, this conference brings together foodservice directors, nutrition specialists, farmers, producers, and policymakers from all over the country. As a formal educator, I am definitely considered a minority stakeholder, despite the argument that more school…

Aspiring Soil Engineers Design a Perfect Seed Starting Mix

Geotechnical engineering is a specialty area within the environmental sciences that deals with geology and soil.  These professional experts analyze the substrate of a site to determine the viability for construction or development based on soil properties. I imagine similar skills are used to make the bagged “soils” we purchase at our favorite garden store…

Underground Teaching Resources for Stewarding the Soil

Soil. It’s everywhere, but few people take notice of this incredible resource right beneath our feet. When people do notice the soil, they often see it as something to avoid. “Don’t get dirty,” they warn young children. With these underground resources, you (and your children) can get all the dirt on soil. Children’s Picture Books…

Return of the Dirt Girls: Fostering Teamwork and Inclusion in the Garden

A little over a year ago, I established an after school club that I dubbed “Dirt Girls.” The decision to limit participation only to girls was initially motivated by the relative inequity in STEM fields. According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, women make up just 29% of the STEM workforce. Research suggests that time…