EarthBox in Our Schools:
Teachers and EarthBoxes Prepped in South Carolina
|For the past four years, Dr. Larry Kowalski has held EarthBox training sessions for elementary school science teachers in South Carolina during the summer. These workshops are held at Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville as part of the Science P.L.U.S. program. Dr. Kowalski worked with third grade teachers the first two years, and sixth grade teachers these past two summers. |
The science teachers who attend get prepped in how to incorporate the EarthBox growing system into their lesson plans. At the conclusion of these classes, the educators bring an EarthBox back to their schools, prepared for planting.
The students grow assorted vegetables and annuals in classrooms throughout South Carolina. When the produce is ready for harvest, students enjoy meals and share some of their bounty with their school communities. Dr. Kowalski says it's very rewarding to work with these teachers, knowing they're going to make a difference with their students. "Seeing the excitement and hearing the enthusiastic responses from them is just wonderful."
Those eligible for these workshops are South Carolina public school science teachers in grades 3 through 8. To find out more, contact Institute Coordinator Lucinda Jacobs at 864-355-8920 or call Dr. Kowalski at 864-202-2976.
Teacher Tiffany Melton prepares an
EarthBox for her class.
To start an EarthBox education project in your area, contact us here at EarthBox Education at 1-800-821-8838, ext 8348 or 8369..
|Monthly Drawing For A $50EarthBox Gift Certificate! Educators, we want to support you in every way we can. One way we show our appreciation is with our monthly drawing for a $50 EarthBox gift certificate.
This issue's winner is Dunmore Elementary School of Dunmore, Pennsylvania. Peggy Hart, Vice Principal of Dunmore Elementary, learned about EarthBox Education from our General Manager's wife, Heather DiPaolo, while working the polls during the primary election earlier this year.
Heather's excitement about the product encouraged Ms. Hart to contact EarthBox Education to learn more. As a result of that conversation, Ms. Hart
asked us to present EarthBox Education to the 5th grade pod at the elementary school. At the training, we had a great time planting an EarthBox with tomatoes, demonstrating the enormity of the cool weather Earthbox-grown cabbage, and answering a variety of questions from the 11-year-olds who were completely engaged in learning about capillary action, plants, light, soil and water.
Based on the enthusiastic response of the children, Dunmore Elementary will be introducing EarthBox Education to its entire 5th grade using the ES curriculum, the Youth Garden Guide, the Garden Stand and eight EarthBox Ready to Grow Kits. Next year, students in their senior year will fulfill their community service requirement by building a high tunnel for the EarthBox Garden. The tunnel will allow the students to grow out crops year round. The teachers and class will also visit the EarthBox Garden on our campus, and work with the local senior center that has an EarthBox Garden.
|Are You in the STEM Directory?|
The National Directory of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) can help promote your after-school program, which in turn can lead to increased membership, funding, and partnership opportunities.
The Coalition for Science After School has partnered with Time Warner Cable to create this on-line national directory, and participation is absolutely free. Time Warner Cable, to support children and families, will promote STEM with Public Service Announcements throughout a five-year campaign.
EarthBox Education wants to collectively upload information to the site. To do this, we need to hear from you. Please email your contact information and program description to Molly Philbin at firstname.lastname@example.org for loading. When the information is uploaded, you will receive an email with a login and password information, and you're in!
|Send Us Your Photos and|
Here's a list of Education Distributor websites to assist you in obtaining catalogs and getting more info about using the EarthBox system in your classroom.
(Catalogs: Elementary Math/Science, Summit, Science, Senior Activities)
(Catalog: Secondary Science)
To place an order, call
888-445-6295 (24/7) or visit
our online store.
Educators, please mention the Source Code EDUDISC when ordering your EarthBox to be eligible for a free $50 EarthBox gift certificate! Winners will be selected from our customer base and announced in each issue of our newsletter.
Science and math classes are typically more hands-on these days, and therefore more interesting for the students; using EarthBoxes in classrooms is certainly one example. However, research indicates that girls are still behind the male students in STEM -- that is, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Well, EarthBox is helping to change that! At the moment, we've got three projects focused on attracting girls to STEM:
1. We're included in Sow What
, a book that includes EarthBox projects for Girl Scouts
so they can obtain their Harvest Badges.
2. Girls Gone Green
was formed in 2006.This non-profit group is dedicated to heightening awareness of environmental issues by holding events, fundraisers, expos, and festivals, to raise and encourage community involvement in caring for people, animals, and the Earth.
3. We encourage girls to post their EarthBox projects on and join the SciGirls
section of the PBSKids website, and to become active on our Forum
We're continually investigating new ways to attract girls into STEM using our EarthBox system, and you can be sure we'll keep posting them as we start promoting them. Meanwhile, if you have an idea on the subject, please pass it on to us
|EarthBox In Our Communities
Helping Folks Help Themselves in Wisconsin
Using Community Development grants, the
Oconto University Cooperative Extension
is working in collaboration with Oconto County Health and Human Services
to improve the nutritional intake of Wisconsin's low-income residents. They're accomplishing this by training people to install and maintain container gardens at their homes. The
goal is to help the many area residents who would enjoy growing their own fresh vegetables
if they had space to do so. The project overcomes the problem of limited gardening
space by using the versatile EarthBox system.
In May and June 2009,
project leaders held workshops to distribute more than 50 EarthBox kits to residents in both Marinette and Oconto
Counties as part of a project organized by the UW-Extension Nutrition Education Program
. NEWCAP, Inc.
sponsors the program, and the 2009 effort was supported by a grant from by the Child Wellness Partnership of Marinette and Oconto Counties
. This organization encourages fresh vegetable
consumption among residents of both counties.
from vocational services provider New View Industries
in Gillett volunteered their time to plant tomato and
pepper seeds in representative EarthBoxes, which were then taken to Lena High School
's new greenhouse and
grown until the project held the abovementioned workshops. Those interested
could sign up to receive their EarthBoxes at both NEWCAP and the local Women,
Infants and Children (WIC) Program offices.
|EarthBox Around the World
|On January 13, 2010, Haiti was struck by a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and left nearly a million Haitians homeless. The island nation is still struggling to recover from the earthquake and its aftershocks, both physical and social. The healing has barely begun.|
Since 2008, The Growing Connection (TGC) has worked closely with Project Medishare, a non-profit organization that provides health care for more than 75,000 Haitians. Prior to the earthquake, TGC and Project Medishare worked together to develop EarthBox vegetable gardens in Haiti's central plateau, one of the country's poorest regions. The TGC-Project Medishare partnership is ideal because sustainable agriculture and access to healthy food are key to improving community health care.
A trial garden using 20 EarthBoxes was initially set up to explore which locally-grown vegetables would flourish in the EarthBox, and to develop local mediums and planting methods. Following the success of these trials, EarthBox vegetable gardens have been set up in five elementary schools in the villages of Thomonde and Marmont and a local clinic in Marmont.
A group of poor, at-risk adolescents called IDEJEN (Young Idea) has also been involved in the project, receiving hands-on training in growing produce using the EarthBox. This work will become vital once immediate relief efforts come to an end and attention shifts to Haiti's long-term reconstruction.
If you would like to help us help Haiti, please visit TGC and Project Medishare.
| ||Community Conversations
Using Seed Clocks to "See" Gravity:
An EarthBox Elementary School Curriculum Lesson
How do seeds know which way to grow? Why do they push roots down into the soil, and stems toward the sky? As it turns out, most of the cues come from gravity, and, here's a little experiment that you can use to help your students understand the concept.
Another Law of Gravity
Because plants live on a different time-scale than we do, their lives are largely a mystery to us. It's not obvious, but they're in constant motion as they grow, develop, search for food, and reproduce. In the process they produce a large proportion of our food and raw materials, and almost every atom of the oxygen we need to breathe.
The process by which plants align themselves by means of gravity is called gravitropism. Specific hormones let them "see" the direction of gravity whatever their own orientation might be, which is why stems grow up against gravity (negative gravitropism) and roots grow down towards gravity (positive gravitropism). That way, plants always grow in the right direction -- no matter if they were deposited by wind, water, a farmer, or a forgetful squirrel.
One way to see gravitropism in action is to create a seed clock. They're easy to make, and this allows you a simple way to observe how roots and stems react to gravity.
What you'll need:
Four large seeds, such as sunflower seeds
A wax pencil or permanent marker
Colored pencils or markers
Some loose cotton or cotton balls
A spray bottle of water
A clean, transparent container (a small baby food jar with the labels removed works great)
A transparent lid for the container
Step 1: Loosely pack enough cotton into the container to fill it.
Step 2: Spray enough water on the cotton to dampen it thoroughly.
Step 3: Put the seeds on top of the cotton in a circle, with the narrow ends pointing inward. Make sure the wider ends are spaced about ½-¾ inches away from the edge of the container. The seeds should be in the 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00 positions.
Step 4: Put the lid back on and tape it to the container with two pieces of clear tape.
Step 5: Make a legible mark on the lid right above one seed using the wax pencil or marker.
Step 6: Put the container in a warm, sunny place, such as a windowsill, oriented so the mark is on top. Make sure the cotton is still moist every couple of days.
3-4 Days Later...
Once the seeds have sprouted, take a look at your seed clock and you'll note several interesting facts. One is that roots and stems will always grow out of the opposite ends of the seed. Also, you'll see the stems reaching for the sky, while the roots head toward the ground. That's gravitropism at work. So, ask yourself this: given what you know about gravitropism, what would happen to seeds planted on the International Space Station, where there is almost no gravity at all?
Once you have a nice seed clock growing, we recommend that you transplant your seedlings into an EarthBox to watch them grow into full-fledged plants. By doing this, you can learn a lot about the nutrient cycle, water needs, general nutrition, and biology. Plus, if you choose the right seeds, you can eat what comes out of the EarthBox!
If you grew the seeds of a small, fast-growing plant like Coleus, turn the container on its side for a few days to see what happens. The stem should start bending upwards!
To prove that it's gravity that determines how a seed grows, plant a seed in a water-filled tube and expose the lower part to light while keeping the top in the dark. You'll see that the stem still grows upward, and the roots downward.
If you like this experiment, then we've got plenty more for you! Check out our EarthBox Elementary School Curricula, which includes this and 16 other experiments that will help you teach kids the science behind plants, light, soil, water and nutrition. For more information, contact our Education Department at: 1-800-821-8838 x8348 or x8369.
for a way to announce your EarthBox Education initiative, or to bring your
members together with news and information? Try a free website! Neighborhood
Link offers virtual connections for any group or organization that wants one,
absolutely free, and it takes only a few minutes to set one up. |
Click here to learn more.
Snow Pea Activity Kit Awarded
Each year, the Tillywig Awards
are presented to the best new toys, games and other children's products, based on both their educational and entertainment value. This
year, the EarthBox Snow Pea Activity Kit received the Tillywig Brain Child
find out more, click here.
|The Old Schoolhouse magazine recently reviewed our Ready To Grow Kit for the home school audience. Please pass this link on to any home school teachers you know!|
|About EarthBox |
|The patented EarthBox was developed by commercial farmers, and proven in the lab and on the farm. Our maintenance-free, award-winning, high-tech growing system controls soil conditions, eliminates guesswork, and more than doubles the yield of a conventional garden -- with less fertilizer, less water and virtually no effort. It's used successfully on a daily basis by commercial farmers, educators, and consumers. Distributors are also finding it to be a popular growing system.|
EarthBox is a remarkably easy-to-set-up system that can be used to grow produce virtually anywhere. Our systems have been incorporated into community gardens all over the world, enabling families and neighbors to share fresh produce, while minimizing work and expenses.
EarthBoxes also make excellent additions to the classroom. Our Pre-K through 12th grade standards-based curriculum support packages can bring science to life, with hands-on lessons that teach principles of growing and nutrition utilizing the scientific method in student-driven experiments.
To find out more about EarthBox's education programs, visit www.earthbox.com/education.