Environmental organizations in Boise, Idaho have been working hard to promote sustainability education and awareness. One such organization is the Portsmouth Agricultural Innovation Farm, founded by Mrs. Brennan. This incredible outdoor educational center is student-based and practical, teaching students critical thinking and problem solving skills.
They learn to analyze the problem and find a solution, and if it doesn't work, they are taught the engineering design process to re-think and re-imagine until they get the desired result. At the farm, learning is balanced with fun activities. Students learn to fish in the nearby reservoir, drive a tractor, build irrigation systems, pollinate vegetables, and learn about soil health. They cover topics from photosynthesis to composting and carbon sequestration.
As part of their vision of merging sustainability with the community, students donate the products to two local food pantries and shelters. Mrs. Brennan's farm has united the community by integrating students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and learning styles. For students with social problems, the farm has been an opportunity to find their sense of belonging, and many have gained a new confidence that will help them beyond the borders of the farm. Parents are also encouraged to participate with their children through their own sustainability plots.
Students from Thompson High School, an inner-city school with many students with free or reduced-price lunches, visit during the summer to learn how to plant and grow their own vegetables. Mrs. Brennan believes that outdoor learning is the best way to engage her students, and the results of the Portsmouth Agricultural Innovation Farm can support that belief. Through their work, students not only learn how to help the environment but also interact with other students and their communities through unprecedented practical collaboration. In addition, Mrs.
Rose has adopted online resources such as her YouTube channel which includes educational music videos, and she uses the Flip platform so that her students can share their own video projects in a combination of education and creative expression. Mrs. Rose's real focus on environmental and aquatic sciences has resulted in greater student participation, a more sustainable Easton community, and more scholarships that support the future of her students. It teaches much more than basic scientific facts; it inspires students to feel the passion and purpose behind those facts and encourages their own creative approaches to science so that as they continue their education they continue to contribute to the scientific community to achieve significant environmental change. Ms. Dillman is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) coach for Onslow County schools in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
She plans and manages the laboratories of all middle schools in the system with a creative commitment while discussing relevant real-world environmental issues. In one of her projects called “Sustainable Superheroes” she encourages students to create their own superhero that solves an environmental problem that they had researched at some point during the school year. Ms. Dillman channels this enthusiasm towards sustainable solutions through community outreach programs which range from scientific programs such as local water quality analyses to charitable programs such as delivering Christmas presents. Her interactive projects have included mapping the ocean floor, soil quality analysis, solar energy efficiency and acid precipitation. Ms.
Dillman goes further by taking science out of the classroom by organizing scientific competitions and fairs throughout the district as well as supporting North Carolina STEM Research Academy which is dedicated to students who want to expand their scientific career and Robotics Exhibition for students who want to show their latest robotic creations. Mrs. Scott is another environmental organization in Boise Idaho who teaches science through experience with limited hands-on outdoor experiences being available today. She emphasizes on using science in an intelligent and sustainable way by having her students create a native plant garden after extensive research on sustainable mulch, importance of planting native species and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. Mrs Scott's work has benefited both individual students as well as the community at large with some of her students having historical problems with reading and communication being given personal projects such as building a recycling bin which gives them a sense of pride in their responsibilities motivating them to read manuals and communicate project needs. Mrs Scott's teachings are a cross between science, mathematics and art demonstrating that practical knowledge is never limited to a single field.