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Science, Education and Sustainability

4-H Sustainability Camp

Project Leaders: Rose Hayden-Smith, UCCE-VC, Susana Bruzzone-Miller, UC HAREC.

The University of California ANR, which operates Cooperative Extension, the REC system, and programs such as 4-H and Master Gardeners, does not currently have a single youth curriculum that focuses on “sustainability”, especially as it relates to agriculture and the food system. A curriculum that may work well in California has recently been piloted at Utah State University; it proved appropriate for upper elementary and middle school aged youth. We will pilot this curriculum in Ventura County in 2014, incorporating various delivery methods, including camps at the REC, 4-H clubs, and through community-based organizations. Topics include energy, food waste, water, etc. A research study will provide information on changes in behavior, etc.

We will focus on the critical issues of increasing agricultural literacy and providing opportunities for science, engineering and technology (SET/STEM) education for youth, with a focus on various issues within the topic of “sustainability.”   The goal is to educate youth about sustainability within agriculture, food systems, and natural ecosystems, and to prepare them to put into practice (i.e., apply) what they learn to change behaviors in a measurable way.

SEEAG - 21st Century Farming and Agriculture in Ventura County

Project Leaders: Mary Maranville, SEEAG

Students for Eco Education and Agriculture's [SEEAG] ‘The 21st Century Farming and Agriculture in Ventura County’ Education and Outreach Program was founded in 2008. The mission of SEEAG is to educate students about the journey of food from field to consumption while connecting school children to the farmland in their own backyard. The program teaches school children why they need to care about plants, gardens, crops, agriculture, our agricultural work force and the farmers.  This program is inspiring the next generation to become future agricultural managers and stewards of the land.