Fall Greening the School Conference

KEEPING YOUR CLASSROOM FRESH AND GROWING!

Fall Conference 2014


Saturday, November 8, 2014

 

 

- Clay Center for Science and Technology
Dexter and Southfield Schools

- Brookline, Massachusetts

- 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

- Print and mail a Conference Registration Form

- Print a Conference Flyer orPrint the Full Conference Brochure - Pending

Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom is sponsoring a conference for educators on Saturday, November 8th at the Clay Center for Science and Technology at the Dexter and Southfield Schools in Brookline. The school borders Allandale Farm where tours will be offered during the morning.

The theme of the fall conference will be Greening the School. All workshops will focus on compostingand healthy soils; gardening at the school; taking the garden into the classroom; natural resource conservation and nutrition & local foods. Each workshop sessions with multiple workshop choices will be held throughout the day from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tour the solar panels, wind turbine and planetarium at the Clay Center for Science and Technology.

The Clay Center for Science and Technology is a state-of-the-art astronomical observatory and learning center. In addition to the observatory's seven research-grade telescopes, this five-story building contains sophisticated computer and science laboratories, a multi-media lecture hall, classrooms, dining, and meeting spaces, and a solar energy roof deck and wind turbine.

Allandale Farm is Boston's last working farm -- located in Jamaica Plain and Brookline. The farm follows practices that meet the growing methods of the National Organic Program, although they have chosen not to pursue federal certification. They rotate crops, amend the fields with organic fertilizers and their own compost and do not use herbicides or conventional fungicide. The farm offers Community Supported Agriculture Shares, a farm market featuring farm grown and other locally grown and artisan foods, a summer youth camp and there is even a school on the property.

Don’t miss this day of discussion, interaction and opportunities for exploring new ideas for your Massachusetts classroom. The $50 fee includes all workshops; workshop materials; breakfast snack; lunch, and 10 pdp’s with a related classroom activity.

Registration on the day of the Conference: $55 (Subject to space availability.)
Exhibitor fee: $50. (An 8 by 10 foot table will be supplied; exhibitors should be set up no later than 8:30 a.m.)

Professional Development Points: 10 PDPs are available for those who attend the full day conference, carry out a related classroom activity, and send in a brief report of their experience.

Thank You to Our Conference Sponsors

Thank you to Chipotle Mexican Grill for providing the Sponsoring Funds for the Lunch for the 2014 Fall “Greening the School” Conference.

We are also grateful to the Whole Foods Markets in Bedford, Dedham, Hadley, Hingham, Jamaica Plain, Lynnfield, Newtonville, Swampscott, Symphony for making a significant contribution to help underwrite the costs of this conference.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources provided funding for four workshops through a USDA Specialty Crops Grant.

We also thank the Clay Center for Science and Technology of the Dexter and Southfield Schools and Allandale Farmfor providing the conference space and tours.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, proud supporter of The Greening the Schools conference, is changing the way people think about and eat fast food by serving food made from ingredients sourced with respect for the land, the animals, and the farmers who produce the food.  Learn more at www.chipotle.com.

 

Full and partial scholarships for new and urban teachers as well as farm educators are available due to a grant from First Pioneer Farm Credit AgEnhancement. Read more.

Directions: Click here for Directions to the Clay Center for Science and Technology at the Dexter and Southfield Schools

Conference Schedule - November 8th, 2014

Workshops and Tours

We are now Working on the Conference Schedule: As workshops are confirmed they will be listed below.

8:00 a.m.: Registration, coffee, tea and breakfast snack

8:30 - 9:00: Introductions & Welcome Presentation

9:00 - 10:10: Workshop Session 1 (Concurrent sessions, choose one of five workshops/tours)

Workshop 1: No time! No money! How to Create a No-Nonsense School Garden Program with a Big Impact

Imagine bountiful gardens and children eating what they grow! This workshop, led by Backyard Growers of Gloucester, will show you how to create a successful district-wide elementary school garden program with limited time, money, and resources. Backyard Growers’ model gives K-5 students the opportunity to plant, harvest, and eat from their school gardens twice a year- giving kids a true seed-to-fork experience. Target age: all grades.

Workshop Presenter: Lara Lepionka, Director Backyard Growers, Gloucester

Workshop 2: Connecting the School Garden to the Science Classroom and the STEM Standards

We have invited three Science teachers who have been successful in connecting their classrooms to their school gardens to share their stories and garden activities. Each will talk about their school garden program and how they are linking the gardening activities to the classroom and STEM Standards for their grade level. Each will also will share one or two activities they use regularly to engage students and motivate inquiry. There will be an opportunity for questions and sharing.

Workshop Presenters: three teachers who connect the school garden

Workshop 3: Planting a Garden For Pollinators

Pollinators are everywhere and they play and extremely important role in our lives and habitats, from pollinating the foods that we eat to initiating the development of the seeds that ensure survival of native plants. Warren Leach, horticulturist and garden designer, will review pollinator needs and offer a selection of ornamental trees, shrubs, perennials and vines with flowering characteristics that will benefit pollinators and also complement the school calendar. These beauties will add ornamental beauty and interest to the schoolyard, while also offering opportunities for classroom study. He will also provide suggestions for care and culture.
Workshop Presenter: Warren Leach, horticulturist, garden designer, Tranquil Lake Nursery, Rehoboth

Workshop Presenter: Warren Leach, landscape horticulturist, garden designer, Tranquil Lake Nursery, Rehoboth

Workshop 4: Preserving the Harvest of the School Garden

The bounty and freshness of the school garden can be savored well into the winter with the aid of preservation techniques. Farm and culinary educator Liz Ellis from Heifer International in Rutland will offer an over view of preservation techniques including freezing, dehydrating, fermenting, canning and cold storage. She will also offer guidance on adapting these techniques for the classroom. Limited to 12 participants.

Workshop Presenter: Liz Ellis, Events and Outreach Coordinator, Heifer International

Workshop 5: Fall Planting and Extending the School Garden Season

The first fall frost need not herald the end of the School Garden. There are numerous ways that you can extend the season through the fall and into the winter and get an early start in the spring. Alice Posner wrote MAC’s How-To-Guide for Fall Gardening, she will introduce you to a number of plants that you can star in the late summer and early fall and harvest before frost. You will also learn about crops such as winter grains and garlic that can be planted in the fall and harvested in winter or spring. Alice will also discuss cover cropping, coldframes, low tunnels, and mulch for season extension. In addition, learn about specific crop varieties, planting schedules, and other garden practices to extend the growing season in your school garden.

Workshop Presenter: Alice Posner oversees MAC’s School Garden Mentoring program. She is also a garden educator and has grown vegetables, grains and runs a small jam business.

10:20 to 11:30: Workshop Session 2 (Concurrent sessions, choose one of five workshops/tours)

Workshop 1: Composting Basics

People use compost to naturally return nutrients to their soil, to keep it structurally and chemically friendly for plants to grow in, and to promote water conservation. In this workshop, learn how to get started, construct the compost pile, balance nitrogen and carbon materials, and reach optimum moisture and temperature in the bin. You will also study the organisms in the compost, such as red wigglers, mold, and bacteria. Certified home compost coordinator Karen Kullas will also offer tips for presenting compost to students and ideas for what works and captures their attention. Complimentary samples of the various stages of composting will be available. Appropriate for all grades.

Workshop Presenter:Karen Kullas of Berkley, MA has been a DEP certified home composting coordinator since 1994

Workshop 2: Food Safety from farm and Garden to Early Childcare:

School gardening programs are a great way to expose children to fresh fruits and vegetables; however, fresh produce is responsible for approximately 46% of all food-borne illnesses. The Food Safety from Farm and Garden to Early Childcare workshop will provide educators, foodservice staff, volunteers, or any attendees responsible for young children with a background on the risks of food-borne illness from fresh produce as well as some practical information on food safety basics for the classroom and kitchen with special attention to farm and garden-related activities. Target grades: Preschool and elementary.

Workshop Presenter: Cathy Wickham, Research Assistant, Food Safety from Farm and Garden to Preschool Program, University of Massachusetts, Nutrition Department

Workshop 3: Vegetables Go To School

This workshop by Boston’s Green City Growers will focus on growing vegetables in a variety of locations from urban schoolyards, to containers, to the rooftop. Then explore strategies for incorporating vegetable gardening activities in to school curriculum.

Workshop Presenter:Jessie Banhazl and the garden staff of Green City Growers

Workshop 4: Biomimicry Workshop

Biomimicry is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems. The most famous example of biomimicry was the invention of Velcro brand fasteners by Swiss engineer George de Mestral, who took the idea from the burrs that stuck to his dog's hair. Other examples include termite towers for passive cooling, whale power turbine blades, bird wing shaped airplane wings and shark skin swimsuits. Exploration of biomimicry can be used to inspire students to come up with solutions for common problems and meet STEM standards.

Workshop Presenter:to be announced

Workshop 5: Tour of Allandale Farm

Allandale Farm is Boston's last working farm located in Jamaica Plain and Brookline. John Lee, Farm Director will offer a tour of the farm and describe programs and practices. The farm follows practices that meet the growing methods, following the National Organic Program, although they have chosen not to pursue federal certification. They rotate crops, amend the fields with organic fertilizers and their own compost and do not use herbicides or conventional fungicide. The farm offers Community Supported Agriculture Shares, a farm market featuring farm grown and other locally grown and artisan foods, a summer youth camp and there is even a school on the property.

Tour Leader: John Lee, President of Allandale Farm and Past President of Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom

11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.: Lunch courtesy of Conference Sponsor Chipotle Mexican Grill

Awards and Speakers:

Presentation to our 2014 Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Jane Luc ia from the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton.

12:50 to 2:00 p.m.: Workshop Session Three (Concurrent sessions, choose one of five workshops/tours)

Workshop 1: Why Massachusetts Has the Most Interesting Weather on Earth

Join TV Meteorologist Tim Kelley for a look at the fascinating weather of Massachusetts, from hurricanes to blizzards, and everything in between. Every kind of atmospheric exhibition is, at one time or another, on display here in New England. Our weather can be a beauty one day and a beast the next, rather challenging for those who chose a career in agriculture. Tim maintains a hand written daily weather life journal.

Workshop Presenter: Tim Kelley, Broadcast Meteorologist for NECN and Cape Cod native, with family history going back centuries on Nantucket and eastern Massachusetts. Tim’s interest spans a spectrum from cultural and climate history, to geology and a love for gardening, birds, and clouds.

Workshop 2: Gardening in the City

This workshop will take a look at the obstacles teachers face gardening with children in Worcester Schools. Learn what they are growing and the ways they are overcoming those obstacles.

Workshop Presenter:Katie Katie Rozenas, School Gardens Coordinator VISTA, Worceseter and Worcester School Teachers

Workshop 3: Classroom Hydroponics Workshop

Learn about the new curriculum that Boston College has developed for Classroom Hydroponics. Professor Mike Barnett and Janet Lorden of the Stem Garden Institute at Boston College will offer and overview of their program and hydroponics for the classroom. They will introduce you to a number of activities for the classroom with curriculum connections.

Workshop Presenter:Professor Mike Barnett, Boston College and Janet Lorden, Executive Director of the Stem Garden Institute at Boston College

Workshop 4: Nutrition Essentials Workshop

Review the key vitamins and minerals needed for human growth and good health. Learn how each is utilized by the body, daily requirement and the foods that best supply these essentials. Then hear strategies for teaching about nutrition and try out a few activities for the classroom and school garden.

Workshop Presenter: to be announced

Workshop 5: Exploring Soils in the Gardens

Good soil is essential to a healthy and productive garden. Healthy soils = healthy plants = healthy people. Join Heifer International’s Liz Joseph, Garden Educator, to learn how you can improve your soil fertility, and understand how doing so will decrease pests, weeds, and disease while increasing your yield of beautiful, flavorful, and nutrient dense vegetables, herbs, and fruits.

Workshop presenter: Liz Joseph, Garden Educator, Heifer Project International’s Overlook Farm

2:10 to 3:20 p.m.: Workshop Session Four (Concurrent sessions, choose one of five workshops/tours)

Workshop 1: Connecting the School Garden to the Classroom and Core Standards for the Elementary Grades

Three elementary classroom teachers who are also school garden leaders and who have been successful in connecting their classrooms to their school gardens will share their stories and garden activities. Each will talk about their school garden program and the ways that they link gardening activities to the classroom and the Core Standards. They will share one or two activities they use regularly to engage students and motivate inquiry. There will be an opportunity for questions and sharing.

Workshop Presenter: Three Elementary teachers who connect the classroom and the school

Workshop 2: Vermicomposting in the Classroom

Description pending.

Workshop presenter: to be announced

Workshop 3: Teaching Sustainability

Description pending.

For and in-depth look at the ‘hows and whys’ of season extension for school gardens, Josh’s other workshop: ‘Extending the School Garden Season with Low Tunnels.”

Workshop Presenter: to be announced.

Workshop 4: Getting Kids Moving in the Classroom

Description pending.

Workshop Presenter: Brian Coon, Health and Physical Education Teacher, Parker Elementary School, New Bedford

Workshop 5: Tour of the Clay Center for Science and Technology

The Clay Center for Science and Technology is a state-of-the-art astronomical observatory and learning center. In addition to the observatory's seven research-grade telescopes, this five-story building contains sophisticated computer and science laboratories, a multi-media lecture hall, classrooms, dining and meeting spaces, and a solar energy roof deck and wind turbine.

Tour Leader: Bob Phinney, Director of the Clay Center for Science and Technology

 

3:20 p.m.: Evaluation and Wrap Up

Print a Conference Flyeror
Print a Registration Form


  Review Comments from Teachers About our Workshops