From Garden to Classroom Outreach
The objectives of the From Garden to Classroom outreach program are to develop and provide outreach education in natural sciences, including botany, ecology and environmental conservation and biodiversity through interactive and activity-based programs, employing experiential learning for youth, grades K-12 using age-appropriate, curriculum-based learning materials.
The program is aimed at engaging students and teachers and motivating participants to take action and implement positive changes both in and outside their schools, within their homes and throughout their community.
This outreach program will allow the Botanical Garden a unique opportunity to supplement the science curriculum, engage young people in hands-on activities and hopefully encourage proactive attitudes and behaviour in areas of environmental protection, conservation and enhancement.
These programs are being developed and expanded across the curriculum; not just in the areas of science education, but also language arts, math, social studies, etc.
In addition, outreach will be available to schools during the winter, when the Garden is normally closed to the public. Schools can book education staff for half, full or multi-day visits to schools.
This program aims provide resources, including guides for our curriculum programs. Throughout the winter of 2010 the website will be expanded to include guides and lessons for students and teachers across the province.
Workshops for teachers, environmental educators and community resource people will be conducted throughout the province to develop programs based on teacher need, to pilot materials developed and to modify programs according to feedback.
While the range and number of topics covered depends on the grade level, all concepts relate to the theme of bringing the Botanical Garden (and its expertise) to the classroom. In turn, the knowledge and experiences gained will hopefully promote a responsible and pro-active attitude towards the environment.
Most importantly, students can develop respect and a keen interest in natural sciences. The primary objective is to engage the student; however, teacher education and support is critical to the success of this program and the teacher workshops and web development are intended to supply the much-needed training and support for educators and community leaders, province-wide.
The teacher workshops will be offered to engage teachers and youth group leaders, in a dynamic series of experiential learning activities. The hands-on activities will be curriculum-designed and will provide participants with knowledge and background information illustrating how to incorporate various concepts of the natural environment within their classroom.
The knowledge and experience gained by teachers will assist in the delivery of key concepts and will motivate students to study natural science, in particular plant biodiversity and conservation.
From Garden to Classroom Outreach Education Program is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) PromoScience funding program.