From all the support of our community members, donors and volunteers let me tell you– there are good things happening in education at the farm. Chris, our Education Program Director, has been working with the Hillsborough Association of Elementary Science Teachers (HAEST) since the fall to improve the Field Trip curriculum and hit important life science benchmarks for grades 3-5. One of the new aspects we’ll be adding to our trips is a Scientist Field Notebook to help guide students on their visit to the farm. This notebook will have questions about our various activities and stations (think compost, greenhouse, herb garden, etc.) as well as have a long term investigation component on seed pots so the students can continue their plant life study after the trip ends.
Upcoming in February we’ll have members of HAEST out to our farm to discuss the curriculum and take a trip themselves. Additionally, that month Chris will be wandering off the farm to participate as a judge in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fair for Hillsborough County.
This week we’ll be ordering new equipment to expand our in field research and studies for our educational programs. One item we are eager to arrive is a digital microscope that can magnify 400x. This will allow our students to explore the plants in front of them at a cellular level as they move about the farm. One program this will be used for is our summer day camp, Farm Camp. Kids 8-11 years old can join Chris this summer for a week of learning about our Florida environment, farming, plant life, and more during our second summer of Farm Camp. For more information please click here.
Speaking of new equipment, our beloved Terex wheel loader has bit the dust. If anyone has a good lead on a used wheel loader we’d love if you’d share it with us as we are on the hunt for a new one to call Sweetwater home.