Illustrations of Great Women Scientists by Rachel Ignotofsky

Rachel Ignotofsky is a graphic designer and illustrator. Her work frequently touches on science with layers of the earth, inside a cell, body systems posters, plant anatom, lab equipment, and food chain.

I think her set of illustrations of great women scientists: Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie, Valentina Tereshkova, Jane Goodall, and Patricia Bath is worth taking a look at!

For the full links, click below:

Free educational materials on soil science to educators.

The Nutrients for Life Foundation is an educational non-profit that provides information and resources to educators and the public about the vital role fertilizers play in feeding our world. Through donations, we are able to offer free educational materials on soil science to educators. All of our resources are science-based, user-friendly, and utilized by educators across the country.

For the full link, click below:

A Sustainability Program and Curriculum by the Green Design Lab

The Green Design Lab™ curriculum is divided into 5 units that focus on Energy, Air, Water, Food and Materials.  Each unit is 10 lessons long and comes in a k-5 and 6-9 version. CleanTech, Solar One’s 10-12 grade curriculum, expands on the core concepts of the existing Green Design Lab™ curriculum with more advanced and technical content.

For the full link, click below:

STEM School Study

Outlier Research & Evaluation at the University of Chicago was awarded a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the landscape of inclusive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) high schools across the United States. The final study findings were recently released. Questions addressed are: What defines a STEM school? What do STEM schools do? How do STEM schools work? Where is the STEM in S.T.E.M.? The website has an interactive grid of the common components of the STEM schools studied. Explore the report.

The STEM School Study (S3) seeks to understand the landscape of inclusive STEM high schools across the United States. S3 examines how STEM schools define themselves, the strategies they use, and the student experience.

Click on the link below to find out more:

Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Gardening in Schools

Hydroponics FYI

What is hydroponics? – Terms and definitions, difficult jargon made easy, and vocabulary acronyms revealed.

DIY hydroponics – Full step-by-step instructions for 18 projects to get your indoor harvest growing.

Simple instructions for a hydroponic garden – With some basic tools you can build a garden that requires almost no maintenance, is dirt-free and will produce double the yield of a traditional garden.

How to assemble a homemade hydroponic system – Learn how to grow plants year-round by using a soil-less hydroponic system (~$500 – $1000).

DIY hydroponics – Lots of information, blueprints, answers to the most common and not so common questions.

DIY hydroponic, aquaponic, and school garden ideas – Pintrest is your friend for ideas!

What does the research say?

“Results of the study suggest that when a learning institution provides mechanisms for students to contribute to the overall quality of the institution (such as a campus gardening program), a sense of interdependency and positive self-empowerment develops among faculty and students.”

Hoffman, A. J., Knight, L. F. M., & Wallach, J. (2007). Gardening Activities, Education, and Self-Esteem Learning Outside the Classroom. Urban Education, 42(5), 403-411.

“Key findings suggest that when young children are participating in garden and greenhouse activities they are: (1) communicating their knowledge about the world to others, (2) conveying (and learning to process and manage) emotions, and (3) developing important skills (e.g., initiative, self-confidence, literacy, math, science skills) that will help them be more successful in school and better navigate the world.”

-Miller, D. L. (2007). The seeds of learning: Young children develop important skills through their gardening activities at a Midwestern early education program. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 6(1), 49-66.

“School gardens as a component of nutrition education can increase fruit and vegetable knowledge and cause behavior change among children. These findings suggest that school administrators, classroom teachers, and nutrition educators should implement school gardens as a way to positively influence dietary habits at an early age.”

-Parmer, S. M., Salisbury-Glennon, J., Shannon, D., & Struempler, B. (2009). School gardens: an experiential learning approach for a nutrition education program to increase fruit and vegetable knowledge, preference, and consumption among second-grade students. Journal of nutrition education and behavior, 41(3), 212-217.

“Female students had significantly more positive attitudes towards school at the conclusion of the garden program compared to males. The results also showed that there were differences in interpersonal relationships between children depending on grade level in school. In addition, childrens’ attitudes toward school were more positive in schools that offered more intensive individualized gardening.”

-Waliczek, T. M., Bradley, J. C., & Zajicek, J. M. (2001). The effect of school gardens on children’s interpersonal relationships and attitudes toward school. HortTechnology, 11(3), 466-468.

“This space led to a strong sense of belonging among students who were formerly dislodged from their birthplaces, together with providing opportunities for learning English language and forming connections to the local environment.”

-Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2009). Multicultural school gardens: Creating engaging garden spaces in learning about language, culture, and environment. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE), 14, 122-135.

“Quantitative studies showed positive outcomes of school-gardening initiatives in the areas of science achievement and food behavior, but they did not demonstrate that children’s environmental attitude or social behavior consistently improve with gardening… Qualitative studies documented a wider scope of desirable outcomes, including an array of positive social and environmental behaviors.”

-Blair, D. (2009). The child in the garden: An evaluative review of the benefits of school gardening. The Journal of Environmental Education, 40(2), 15-38.