Fall Greening the School Conference

KEEPING YOUR CLASSROOM FRESH AND GROWING!

Fall Conference 2013


Saturday, November 9, 2013

 

 

- 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

Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom is sponsoring a conference for educators on Saturday, November 9th 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 and Gardening Mini-Grants for the 2012 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 9th, 2013

Workshops and Tours

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: The Science of Soils

An understanding of the importance and nature of soil is essential for growing healthy plants, agriculture, and for conservation and environmental education. Robert Rafka, PhD., scientist and educator, will offer an overview of soil properties such as type, texture, drainage, pH, color, and parent materials. You will learn how and why to test your soil, ways to improve your soil and will develop an understanding of the various aspects of soil science to assist with teaching about soils. Appropriate for middle and high school.

Workshop Presenter: Robert Rafka, retired scientist from Pfizer, master gardener and high school science teacher

Workshop 2: Getting Started in the School Garden

This workshop offers an opportunity to share ideas, successes, challenges, and overall know-how with others who have some experience with planning and developing a school garden program at their school. Participants are encouraged to bring questions with them to the workshop any information and materials that they believe would be helpful to fellow school garden leaders. Target Range: all grades.

Workshop Presenters: Facilitator: Alice Posner, MAC’s School Garden Associate; and Harry Brandt, Patrick E. Bowe School in Chicopee; Erin DeCoste, Bromfield School in Harvard; Joe Karr, Nashoba Brooks School in Concord and Jennie Finn, J. Trudeau Memorial Center in Warwick, RI

!Workshop 3: Extending the School Garden Season with Low Tunnels

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. At the Mullen Hall-Elementary School in Falmouth, students are raising crops through the winter using low tunnels. These 3-foot-tall structures resemble miniature hoop houses and can be constructed in any length. They are cost effective, kid-friendly in construction and use, easy to store, and have given great results. In addition, learn about specific crop varieties, planting schedules, and other garden practices to extend the growing season in your school garden.

Workshop Presenter: Josh Leveque, school garden coordinator, Mullen-Hall Elementary in Falmouth

Workshop 4: Teaching BioTechnology and Forensics with Agricultural Connections

During our 2013 Summer Graduate Course as we visited farms across the state, two participants consistently found connections and developed lessons ideas for teaching high school students about Biotechnology and Forensics. Maria Berrios, science teacher at Auburn High School and Cynthia Jensen, science teacher at Gateway Regional High School will offer a sampling of these biotechnology and forensics activities with connections to agriculture.

Workshop Presenters: Maria Berrios, Science teacher at Auburn High School and Cynthia Jensen, Science teacher at Gateway Regional High School in Huntington and our 2013 Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year.

Workshop 5: 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. Bianca Tamburello of the New England Dairy and Food Council will also provide an overview of the nutrition resources supplied by her organization and the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign held in cooperation with the New England Patriots.

Workshop Presenter:

Bianca Tamburello, New England Dairy and Food Council

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: Bringing the Farm to the School Cafeteria and the Classroom :

This workshop will provide ideas for connecting the classroom and the cafeteria to local farms with ideas for strengthening the local foods connections. Learn how to find sources for local foods, various ways to cook in the classroom, and ideas for fun local foods activities in the classroom and cafeteria. Then try out some taste-testing activities that are sure to be a hit with your students.

Workshop Presenters: Lauren Wetherbee, Massachusetts Farm to School Project Kindergarten Initiative Coordinator, and Isabel Burgess, Massachusetts Farm to School Project Kindergarten Initiative Evaluation and Education Specialist

Workshop 3: Farming on the Rooftop

Whole Foods Market has a longstanding commitment to supporting local, and it can’t get any more local than at the new Lynnfield Whole Foods Market, where they are growing and harvesting food in an urban setting right on the rooftop.  This 17,000 square foot food farm was codesigned by Recover Green Roofs and Green City Growers to produce thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables for the store’s customers.  The farm is maintained by Green City Growers who harvests and hand delivers produce to the Whole Foods Market team members to sell in the produce section or to use in prepared foods.  This unique space offers lessons that can be adapted to other settings.

Workshop Presenters: Jennifer Licht, Marketing Coordinator for Whole Foods Markets in Jamaica Plain and staff from the Lynnfield Store and Green City Growers.

Workshop 4: Growing Plants in the Classroom

Learn how you can start your school garden seedlings under lights, while you also learn to build your own grow light system for the classroom. 3rd grade teacher and school garden educator Tony Ghelfi will demonstrate how to build and set-up a classroom light unit from inexpensive materials. Then he will share how he starts seedlings, takes cuttings and cares for other plants in the classroom. He will also demonstrate a hydroponic system in a soda bottle that he uses with his students and tell you how he ties the planting activities and school garden to the math and English language arts standards.

Workshop Presenter: Tony Ghelfi, 3rd grade teacher and school garden leader Manthela George School in Brockton

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 2013 Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year Cynthia Jensen from the Gateway Regional High School in Huntington.

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

Workshop 1: Organic Chemistry of Compost

Microbial decomposition requires an optimal balance of carbon and nitrogen. The carbon provides the energy, while the nitrogen is required for cell growth and function. In addition, oxygen must be present for carbon oxidation. Phosphorus, potassium and trace minerals such as calcium, iron, boron and copper are also needed, as well as appropriate pH. Robert Rafka, Ph.D., scientist and educator, will offer an overview of the chemical properties of compost with tips for teaching compost chemistry to your students. Appropriate for middle and high school.

Workshop Presenter: Robert Rafka, retired scientist from Pfizer, master gardener and high school science teacher

Workshop 2: Success in the School Garden

During this workshop several experienced school garden educators will share their successes in integrating the school garden into the classroom, curriculum and school community. Learn from their stories and examples of garden activities, lesson plans, adaptation for their grade level and strategies for connecting the garden to the curriculum. Bring your questions and learn from the experience of others.

Workshop Presenters:
Facilitator: Marian Hazzard: MAC Board and School Gardens at Touchstone Community School in Grafton and Danielle Crescione, Tri-County Regional School in Easthampton, Susan Halpin, Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough and Janice McPhillips, School Programs for Holly Hill Farm, Cohasset

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 and owner of Tranquil Lake Nursery, Rehoboth

Workshop 4: Teaching Science Using the School Garden

The school garden offers endless opportunities to reinforce science lessons. Paul Pieri, 6th grade science teacher at Wheeler School in Providence/Seekonk, and Heather Holgate, 7th grade teacher at Holden Christian Academy have found numerous ways to connect every aspect of their science curricula to their school gardens. They will join together to present an overview of the many science/garden connections possible and the opportunities for inquiry based exploration from soils to water, plant growth, energy, wildlife, seasons and more. Then try out a few brief hands-on lessons from the garden.

Workshop Presenters: Paul Pieri, 6th grade science teacher at the Wheeler School in Providence and Heather Holgate, 7th grade teacher at Holden Christian Academy

Workshop 5: Safety in the School Garden

The school garden should be a place where students can be active and explore their local environment in a way that is safe and free from hazzards. They should also be able to harvest healthy foods using good food safe practices. MAC’ School Garden Coordinator Alice Posner will review safe gardening practices from tool use and storage to pest management offering a check list of tips and practices that will make gardening at the school a pleasure for all. She will also discuss good agricultural practices for harvest, washing and transporting food from the garden.

Workshop presenter: Alice Posner oversees MAC's School Garden Mentoring program and writes garden guides and garden-based lessons for MAC. She is also a garden educator in Holyoke MA. She has worked on vegetable and grain farms and runs a small jam business.

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

Workshop 1: Honeybees, Beekeeping and Pollination Basics

Teacher and Beekeeper, Ken Oles, will offer ideas for introducing the topics of bees and pollination in the classroom. He will provide an overview of raising bees and producing honey and beeswax products. You will also Learn about the life cycle of the honeybee, pollination and what it takes to raise bees in Massachusetts today with associated classroom activities and curriculum connections.

Workshop Presenter: Ken Oles is a retired 5th grade teacher, a MAC Board Member and a Master
gardener.

Workshop 2: Gardening from the Community to the School

There are a number of excellent community organizations that support agriculture and gardening efforts for schools. Meet two of these programs: Community Harvest Project in North Grafton and Growing Places in Leominster. Learn how each works with schools and community groups to grow food, plant gardens and support volunteerism. Then learn about their educational programs and try out a few activities.
Workshop Presenters: Alicia Cianciola and Tori Buerschaper, Community Harvest Project, North Grafton and Janet O’Brien, Growing Places in Leominster.

Workshop 3: Building a 'Low Tunnel' Cold Frame

In

In this hands-on workshop, Josh Leveque from the Mullen-Hall Elementary School in Falmouth will lead a group project to construct a simple ‘low tunnel’ season extended. Similar in function to a cold frame, low tunnels allow for an extended gardening season. These 3-foot-tall hoop structures resemble low hoop houses and can be constructed to any length and easily stored when not in use. Limited to twelve participants.

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: Josh Leveque, school garden coordinator, Mullen-Hall Elementary in Falmouth

Workshop 4: Funding and Financially Sustaining the School Garden

Seth Mansur has been gardening at schools for several years, first at the Touchstone Community School in Grafton and more recently at Leicester Middle School. One of the key elements of sustaining a garden is the ability to raise funds and recruit supporters. Learn tips and techniques on how to get the financial and material support needed to start and maintain your school garden. This workshop will cover where to find grant money and tips on how to apply for grants, alternative programs to secure a consistent fund-raising throughout the year, as well as best practices when asking local businesses for in-kind donations and support.

Workshop Presenter: Seth Mansur, Leicester Middle School

 

Workshop 5: Preserving the Harvest of the School Garden


THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL

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 Becky Fahey from Appleton Farms in Ipswich 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: Becky Fahey, Director of Education the Trustees of Reservations’ Appleton Farms in Ipswich.

Workshop 6: 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 Brochure or
Print a Registration Form


  Review Comments from Teachers About our Workshops