LAS VEGAS, February 12, 2020—Green Our Planet’s outdoor and hydroponics school garden programs recently won STEM accreditation by STEMworks, which means that the Las Vegas-based nonprofit now runs the only STEMworks accredited school garden and hydroponics programs in the country. In the world of STEM teaching, winning a STEMworks accreditation is akin to winning a coveted Michelin Star.
STEMworks conducts a rigorous independent evaluation process using research-based STEM design principles to vet STEM education programs nationally. Only a small percentage of organizations that apply win accreditation. Green Our Planet’s programs went through this in-depth vetting process and were approved for national accreditation.
The national STEMworks database is used by state leaders, school districts and administrators across the country, such as the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology, to identify high-quality STEM programs. Green Our Planet is proud to now be on the Governor’s list of recommended STEM programs for Nevada schools.
Green Our Planet’s School Garden Program teaches students STEM by using school gardens as hands-on learning laboratories. Teachers use Green Our Planet’s PK-5 STEM Garden Curriculum to teach STEM standards, as well as to teach students how to conduct experiments and analyze data. Teachers are assisted by Green Our Planet farmers to tend to the garden and ensure that it is flourishing. When the garden is ready to harvest, students learn about nutrition by preparing garden veggies with a nutritionist or chef and set up farmers markets after school, selling the school-garden produce to their families and neighbors.
In Green Our Planet’s Hydroponic Garden Program, students engineer and build six different kinds of hydroponic systems to grow plants without soil. Guided by Green Our Planet’s K-5 STEM Hydroponics Curriculum, students learn about STEM and hydroponics, one of the fastest-growing sectors of agriculture in the world. Students also learn chemistry by experimenting with nutrient solutions, use math to determine how many seeds to plant, learn about technology by assembling hydroponic units and discover biology by examining the life cycle of plants.