Clark Montessori Students Design App About Environmental Sustainability & Healthy Food Choices
Clark Montessori Students Design App About
Environmental Sustainability & Healthy Food Choices
With Gorman Heritage Farm
CINCINNATI – (May 18, 2015) Is that organic lettuce really better for you? Ask a 13-year old student farmer in downtown Cincinnati! The students at Clark Montessori partnered with Gorman Heritage Farm and Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE) to develop an Android and Apple app called “Good Basket” that allows players to learn about environmental sustainability and healthy food choices while playing a game.
The students from Clark Montessori will launch “Good Basket” with representatives from PIE and PIE case partner, Gorman Heritage Farm, during a special presentation at the school on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at 1 p.m.
Cincinnati-based PIE works with students and educators to develop transformational educational tools to accelerate academic achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects, especially among girls and minorities. This project features the use of the Socratic Learning Method, which is typically used in graduate and undergraduate programs. It allows business and community executives to serve as in-classroom mentors as students solve a “real life” simulation, which the organization is currently facing.
“This project gave our students a ‘hands on’ opportunity to experience 21st century careers in a fun, digital format while meeting all pertinent STEM Learning Standards. Not only did they get to solve a real-life challenge using modern technology, but they get to do so in an engaging and entertaining way,” said John Spieser, principal for Clark Montessori.
In developing this app, students from Clark Montessori were asked to analyze information, develop research, utilize technology resources and work together to provide workable solutions facing the modern farmer. With the help of Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Applied Informatics, students learned basic coding and developed interactive, digital apps.
“This app ‘gameifies’ STEM concepts and allowed the Clark students to act like agriculture engineers and environmental scientists. They experience the thrill of ‘doing’ and better understand the meaning of their education. By working with Gorman Heritage Farm, these students were able to see that entrepreneurship and innovation are inherent in the agriculture, energy conservation and sustainability industries. These kids get to see how water conservation and energy choices can affect production yields and product quality. To be successful, even an ‘everyday environmentalist’ must be a strong mathematician and scientist,” said Mary Welsh Schlueter, CEO for PIE.
Gorman Heritage Farm, a local 122-acre working and educational farm, mentored Clark Montessori students during the creation of this app. Beyond just building the app, Gorman Heritage Farm helped the students build a stronger understanding of sustainability, organics and modern farming as an entrepreneurial career pathway.
“It was invigorating to work with students and teachers on an agriculturally-based project allowing students to make environmental and nutritional choices. Most importantly, they learn about the impact of their decisions,” said Claire Long, volunteer coordinator for Gorman Heritage Farm. “We are grateful to have been a part of this project that educates the next generation of environmental scientists and nutritionists, while encouraging them to innovate, investigate and share their findings.”
Partnership For Innovation In Education (PIE) develops transformational educational tools preparing the 21st century workforce for success in the global marketplace. PIE features first-ever mentoring alliances with education, business and arts organizations, providing hands-on simulations in the K-12 classroom. PIE is a 501c3 nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, awarded the GuideStar Nonprofit “Gold Exchange” Ranking. For more information, visit www.piemedia.org or follow @PIE_Innovation on Twitter.