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 or Print the Full Conference Brochure

-Register Online!

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 Lara Lepionka of 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 to the Farm and Farm Visits

A trip to the farm offers a wealth of opportunities to learn about farm crops and animals, natural systems, soils, compost, community history and so much more. It is also a wonderful way to learn about local foods and nutrition. Jon Belber, is the farm educator for Holly Hill Farm , where he leads school tours, gardens with children and also work with local schools on their farm school connections, all while addressing organic practices. Tori Buerschaper is the Nutrition Education and Outreach Coordinator at Community Harvest Project. She develops and leads classroom activities, coordinates field trips, oversees the production of recipe books distributed in the community, and is developing teacher resources to integrate agriculture into the classroom. Together they will share the educational opportunities available on the farm. They will also suggest ideas for activities to prepare your students for the farm visit. Target age: elementary and middle school.

Workshop Presenters: Jon Belber, farm educator Holly Hill Farm in Cohasset and Tori Buerschaper is the Nutrition Education and Outreach Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA at Community Harvest Project in North Grafton. and middle grades.

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, landscape 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. Target age: all grades.

Workshop Presenter: Warren Leach, landscape horticulturist, garden designer and co-owner of 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. Target age: all grades.

Workshop Presenter: Liz Ellis, Community Engagement 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. Target age: all grades.

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, classroom experiment in compost, and ideas for what works and captures their attention. Complimentary samples of the various stages of composting will be available. Target age: 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 age: 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. Target age: elementary and middle.

Workshop Presenters:Jessie Banhazl, Director of Green City Growers and Leilani Mroczkowski, Assistant Education Farmer

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. In this workshop Biomimicry Research Scientist Christian DelaCruz will introduce the topic, and explore the elements of ethos, reconnecting and emulation as well as levels of form process and ecosystem using his real life experiences in Mexico and Zimbabwe. He will then break participants into small groups for reconnecting exploration activities that could be used in the classroom. Target age: middle and high school.

Workshop Presenter: Christian DelaCruz, Biomimicry Research Scientist

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. Target age: all grades.

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 Lucia 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. Target age: all grades.

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

In many cities around the country, urban gardening has become a popular way to afford people access to fresh fruits and vegetables. School gardens are forms of urban gardening that provide engagement for students, teachers, parents and the community. This workshop will look at the challenges and successes teachers have faced gardening with students in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. Learn what they have grown, are currently growing, and the ways they are overcoming obstacles. Target age: all grades.

Workshop Presenters: Katie Rozenas, REC School Gardens Coordinator VISTA, Worcester MA and Worcester Public School Teachers: James Kobialka and Joshua Cohen.

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. Target age: all grades.

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

Workshop 4: Strategies to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in the School

Childhood obesity is an epidemic across the nation. In schools across the state, school nurses are working to encourage and engage youth to consume nutrient-rich foods (low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables and whole grains) and achieve at least sixty minutes of physical activity every day. School nurse Heather Blake and Health Educator Jill Thiboodeau will present an overview of obesity and discuss how to promoted healthy eating and physical activity through education, incentives and fun activities in their schools, schoolyards and school gardens. They will also review the school nutrition laws as they relate to curriculum based celebrations, rewards in the classroom and meals on field trips. Target age: all grades.

Workshop Presenters: Heather Blake, School Nurse, Mary Lee Burbank School in Belmont and Jill Thibodeau, Health Teacher, Dr. Arthur Sullivan Middle School, Worcester

Workshop 5: Teaching Soils in the Classroom

An understanding of the importance and nature of soil is essential for agriculture, growing healthy plants and for conservation and environmental education. Try out a sampling of fun and easy hands-on activities to teach how to identify and describe soils characteristics such as texture, color, drainage and parent material. Appropriate for middle and high school. Topics will include soil layers (horizons), soil components, physical properties, improving soil structure, and soil pH. Appropriate for middle and high school.

Workshop presenter: Rebecca Bottomley, recently retired Environmental Science and Horticulture Teacher, Quabbin Regional High School, Barre, MA

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: Bill Cassell, L. D. Batchelder School, North Reading, Melinda Rabbitt Defeo, School Gardens in Edgartown

Workshop 2: Using A Worm Bin to Support Science Standards

Take a step towards developing your own green classroom. Composting is nature’s way of recycling and worms are known as nature’s recyclers. Learn first hand, how we can recycle our garbage, reducing waste that would go into a landfill, and use the compost material for planting new plants. This workshop will show how to set up an inexpensive worm composting bin for your classroom. Instructions for harvesting your compost material and ways you can use it will also be covered. Teresa Strong will offer tips and activity ideas for building and managing the bins with your students. She’ll link vermicomposting to the science curriculum throughout the school tying it to the Massachusetts State Standards for Science and Technology with a literacy component added.

Workshop presenter:Teresa Strong, Science Specialist, Boston Public Schools and our 2011 Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year

Workshop 3: Engaging Students in Creating Sustainable Classrooms

Sustainability involves working to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The classroom is a terrific place to introduce students to their local and global environment and the impact they have on it. In this workshop, high school science teacher Anna Cynar and middle school science teacher Jane Lucia will share ideas on how you can incorporate concepts of sustainability and action in the classroom. Target Age: middle and high school.

Workshop Presenter: Anna Cynar, science teacher at the Sizer School on Fitchburg and MAC’ 2014 AgriScience Excellence Award Winner & Jane Lucia, middle school science teacher at The Williston Northampton School in Easthampton and MAC’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.

Workshop 4: Getting Kids Moving in the Classroom

Its easy and fun to get your students up and moving. It will also energize classroom learning and assist with team work and communications. In this action packed workshop, Brian Coon, physical education and nutrition teacher at Parker Elementary School in New Bedford will introduce you to a series of 10 minute ice breakers, brain breaks and initiatives that require little or no equipment. Some can even be carried out with a minimum of extra space. Target Ages: Elementary and preschool

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 Registration Form

or Print a Conference Flyer

or Print the Full Conference Brochure


  Review Comments from Teachers About our Workshops