How can U. S. students receive a high-quality science education if states' standards are stuck in the 90's? Since that time and with better understanding of how students learn science and technology, education and science experts launched an all-out effort to revise science standards. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a collaborative state-led process. The new K-12 science standards are rich in content and practice and are based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council. NGSS was completed in 2013. The hope is that implementation of NGSS will better prepare high school grads for the rigors of college science majors and careers in science and technology.
Last Friday, HAREC hosted Next Generation Science in the Garden Educator Workshop. John Fisher, Life Lab Director of Programs at UC Santa Cruz led the workshop using activities from the award-winning Life Lab Science curriculum. Twenty five elementary school teachers and garden educators spent the day on the farm learning how to lead engaging, hands-on science lessons in their school garden that link to NGSS.
HAREC supports Ventura County agriculture through research and education. Volunteers play a vital role in outreach efforts. We are on the hunt for volunteers to support 4-H youth development programs and activities at the Center.
Over 4800 youth benefited from programs at the REC in fiscal year 2013-2014. UC volunteers work alongside staff and make an impact in the community. Join a dedicated group of individuals that share a passion for agriculture, sustainability, nutrition, and natural resources....and also enjoy working and educating children in this diverse county.
Two informational meetings will be held in the Small Barn:
Wednesday, July 23rd, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. or
Thursday, July 24th, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Those interested are encouraged to call the office at 805-525-9293 ext. 206 or email email@example.com by July 22nd. Walk-ins will also be welcomed! For more information and address of the Center visit our website.
The first week-long 4-H Summer Camp at HAREC kicked off today. Day 1 went off without a hitch thanks to our intern, Chris Massa. A diverse group of youth-19 in all and ages 9-16 enjoyed a hands-on day at the farm. Sustainable You! Summer Camp, a program created by Utah State University, is designed to help youth understand what it means to be sustainable through fun activities based around the five major areas of sustainability: land, food, air, energy, and water.
Today's theme-Land inspired youth to:
- Differentiate between trash, recycling, and compost
- Learn the value of preserved open space
- List essential resources provided by natural land (water, air, soil, food)
- Learn how to vermicompost and create a vermicompost bin
Ventura Unified Balboa Middle School student farmers have much to be proud of and celebrate on Friday, May 23. Led by Food Corps service member, Chris Massa, the half-acre farm at HAREC flourished. While most teens would prefer to hang out with friends on a Friday afterschool, these eager learners rode a bus to the farm. They laid irrigation, planted, weeded, harvested and donated food over 800 pounds of cilantro, chard, spinach and radishes. The produce went to the school district's farm to school program and FoodShare food bank. Weekly topics such as sustainability, seasonality, water and pest management, soils and cooking rounded out the hands-on experiences on the land.
To prepare for the media, students participated in mock interviews last week. In groups of three, they took turns being interviewed, playing journalist, and videographer. The result is an insight into the learning that occurred over the past five months. The following are selected answers to the interview questions.
Why did join the Student Farm?
"It seemed interesting and will help in the future"
"I wanted to learn how to grow plants"
"I wanted to learn about agriculture"
"Yes, that when the cilantro plant is about to die they let go of seeds"
"I learned that bees make honey"
"I learned that bees are disappearing"
"I learned that different plants grow at different times"
"I learned to appreciate nature and what it gives"
What was your favorite part of this experience?
"It helped me to eat healthier"
"Growing food that you can eat"
"Eating the food we grew"
"Cooking and eating the food we grew"
"Picking weeds and the stuff we grew"
Do you have a better understanding of farming or agriculture as a result of Student Farm?
"Yes, it is hard work just to have every day healthy food"
"Yes, agriculture is cool"
Would you recommend participating in Student Farm to a friend?
"Yes, because it shows you how to grow food and so you don't have to get it from the store all the time"
"Yes, because its really fun and you learn about plants even though its on a Friday and you could do other things"