Below is a list of the planned STEM lessons students will explore with Master Gardener Karen Klein in the Sonoran Sky Elementary Living Laboratory called Wonderland.
- Parts of a plant and plant life cycles: Seed germination, growth, death
- Soils: Color, size, shape, texture, clay, sand, loam
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Upcycle!
- Entomology: Arthropods, insects, arachnids, adaptation, camouflage
- Complete vs Incomplete Metamorphosis
- Water Cycle: Evaporation, condensation, precipitation
- Responsible Water-Wise issues and Choices
- Functions of a Plant: Roots absorb, Stems support, Leaves synthesize food, Flowers attract pollinators
- In-depth Plant Life Cycles: Growth, death, decay
- Compost Bin Studies:, Nitrogen and carbon sources and balance
- In-depth Water Cycle Issues: Drought, chemical runoff, how changing weather affects environment, farming, food supply
- Diversity and Adaptation: Sonoran Desert Environment; xeriscape; plant, animal, and insect adaptation; camouflage vs. mimicry
- Scientific Method in plant-based STEM experiments
- Classification: Insects and Plants
- Integrated Pest Management: IPM pests vs. beneficial insects’ impact in the garden
- Chemistry: H2O, CO2, NPK fertilizers, Growing natural pH indicators (red cabbage) in STEM plant-based experiments
- Environment: Drought and flooding changing weather, tropical deforestation vs. sustainable forestry, chemicals-GMOs, runoff effects on water, land, and food supply
- Sustainability: Human impact on desert environment, oceans, planet; greenhouse effect on biomes; carbon footprint; bio-fuels; tropical deforestation vs sustainable farming and forestry; chemical fertilizers and GMOs; runoff effects on water, land, and food supply.
- Green School Certification through World Wildlife Fund, evaluate school impact
- Physics STEM projects: Rainwater harvesting, design and build recycled hanging garden system, design and build seed bomb launcher
All this will happen simultaneously while:
- Learning to observe, appreciate, and document nature in Wonderland’s Pollinator Garden
- Creating art inspired by the garden;
- Growing food organically and understanding why;
- Cooking, learning about nutrition and healthy food choices;
- Learning where our food comes from and how it grows;
- Learning how weather, pests, and environmental issues affect our food supply and garden and how to react to it; and
- Learning how choices we make affect the environment and how each person can make a difference!