Third graders in Long Beach Unified study the connection between what we eat and our physical health. To empower students to think about their choices, we used Chrome Books to let students research the USDA My Plate guidelines, even filling out surveys of what they had eaten that day. When they figured out what food groups were missing, students made their own trail mix emphasizing their nutrition gaps. Lego Man even made an appearance, demonstrating for students how we truly “are what we eat.” Since most kids cleaned their plates, we think the day was a healthy success!
This week we worked with fourth graders to explore the ways local businesses and communities are connected. We read the story Food from the ‘Hood, about students from Crenshaw High School who started a small vegetable farm at school that became a successful produce and salad dressing business. Following their inspiration, we planted enough lettuce to feed the entire fourth grade! We played games designed to help us find our own creative “sparks” and had a “silent conversation” on paper reflecting on the role of business in society. The students had lots of great ideas and are looking forward to a salad party when their lettuces mature.
We had a busy morning with Ms. Ward’s transitional kindergarten class. Our theme was all things pumpkin, and the students were up for the adventure. We made a yummy pumpkin dip, experimented with different shaped squashes as we bowled them into a ghost tower (aka stacked toilet paper rolls with ghost eyes), and used kid-sized hammers and recycled golf tees to practice our fine motor skills and teamwork. Thank you Lowell Elementary for sharing Fall fun with Ground Ed!
At Ground Education, we believe students should learn about sustainable choices they can make in many settings – at school, at home, when shopping or traveling, etc. Once you learn to view the world though a “green” lens, the opportunities to make a difference seem endless. This week the students at Rogers Middle School joined us for a walking field trip to the home of Holland and Nick Brown to see a house that was remodeled to:
The students had a scavenger hunt through the house looking for green features in each of the above categories, and got real-time feedback of how much energy it takes to run an air conditioner. When the A/C was on, the house was using more energy that n the solar panels were producing. As soon as we turned the A/C off, the house was generating an energy surplus. Since the temperature in Long Beach was close to 90, we immediately turned the A/C back on.
The middle schoolers asked thoughtful questions about how things were made, how you measure things like air quality, and where in the world are the toilet tanks (answer: hidden inside the bathroom walls.) They all went home with lots of ideas to share with their family and friends.