The Edible Learning Lab is an afterschool program for students to learn through the process of food production from soil to table. Even a quick inspection will reveal that this generation is woefully unaware of how their food is made, and the costs that go into it. This lack of awareness can lead to bad health and nutrition, and decisions that impact the sustainability and security of our food system. As First Lady Michelle Obama states, “The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake.” Movements, programs, and campaigns, like the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign, are transforming the learning environment to incorporate food and nutrition education, but there is still a great need for hands-on and engaging learning opportunities. Tim Miner with Modern Steader runs the Edible Learning Lab in Buffalo, WY, an afterschool program partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of the Bighorns and local elementary school Meadowlark Elementary. Last year, Miner joined forces with the Boys & Girls Club CEO Lisa Mueller to tackle the divide between students and their food. Using a student- and teacher-oriented curriculum, the Edible Learning Lab “deconstructs the food production process” through six (soon to be eight) different systems: Seed starting, vertical hydroponics using ZipGrow Towers, raised planters, vermiculture, composting, and a seed library. Soon, the students will also be learning with a water collection system, and a teaching kitchen. The Edible Learning Lab not only teaches students in the town of Buffalo, but empowers other educators and program leaders across the US to do the same. The Edible Learning Lab curriculum takes the guesswork out of starting a learning garden by providing not only lesson plans but “teach the teacher” resources to help teachers understand the teaching aspect of the material.
Teachers and program managers can learn more about the Edible Learning Lab and educational gardens at https://brightagrotech.com/classroom-hydroponics.
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