Second grade students from the Mountain View Whisman School district have been introduced to the world of Citizen Science this past fall, documenting their observations of native flora and fauna on their own school grounds. By using iNaturalist, a mobile app developed by the California Academy of Science on their tablets provided through Living Classroom, students upload photos and species identification to the broad scientific community which is collecting data on biodiversity and species populations from around the world. Let’s help develop a new generation of scientists by starting at an early age, teaching children how science can help solve many pressing problems our world faces.
Living Classroom is excited to bring our outdoor programming to Addison Elementary School this year.
With the help of the Palo Alto School District, the new edible garden was installed this summer and lessons are already underway. Students will start the year off by filling the beds with edibles such as kale, spinach, turnips and carrots, to be harvested later this season and made into nutritious soups and salads. In addition, second graders will be sowing their winter wheat over the next few weeks, and enjoy watching the tiny seeds sprout and grow into majestic stalks, as they learn about life cycles, producers and consumers. Look for the wheat as you pass by the school, growing in the beds along the fence on Addison Ave.
Next month will bring the installation of the new Living Classroom Native Garden. This garden, designed by Living Classroom staff, and installed with school district and community support, will become an outdoor laboratory, where students can learn about native plants and observe local wildlife without leaving their school campus.
Both gardens will support the hands-on, nature-based lessons for the first through fifth grades, new this year at Addison School.
MVWSD’s Food and Nutrition Services, in partnership with Living Classroom, recently earned a “Grow” honorable mention Golden Seed award from the California Farm to School Network (CFSN) for doing excellent ‘farm to school’ work.
The award recognizes the District’s partnership with Living Classrooms on the “Farm to Lunch” program that combines the hands-on experience of growing food with the health benefits of better eating. Students from the Beyond the Bell after school program plant vegetables in more than 20 raised planter beds across several MVWSD schools, including Crittenden and Theuerkauf. The District also gets a delivery every Friday from a local farmer who is a member of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). This local- and school-grown produce is featured in tasty dishes several times a month on menus at all schools.