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  • Seed Your Future
  • Seed Your Future

    ~ promoting horticulture as a vital, viable, and exciting career path for students

    Seed Your Future

    AHS and Seed Your Future

    As you may know, AHS has been partnering with Seed Your Future, a national movement that began in 2013 to promote horticulture as a vital, viable, and exciting career path for the nation's youth.  Seed Your Future envisions a world where every U.S. student knows the meaning and importance of horticulture.  Seed Your Future wants the next generation of leaders in this invaluable field poised to fill the wealth of job opportunities available to them.  

    At this year's NCYGS, thanks to generous funding from Ball Horticultural, we will offer dedicated sessions for educators working with teens and 'tweens' in outdoor spaces.  The Seed Your Future logo appearing next to an educational session signifies that the session's focus aligns with the Seed Your Future movement and its goals.

    For even more resources, Seed Your Future has teamed up with Scholastic to launch a brand new website, BLOOM!, with free curriculum for use inside and outside the classroom.  The companion website, WeAreBloom.org, was designed especially for students.  Colorful graphics, fun games, and a digital module will grab students' attention but lessons convey an important message about the vitality of plants and the viability of plant-based careers.

    A5 | Camp TURF - A Summer Horticulture Career Academy
    Dr. Shelley Mitchell | Associate Extension Specialist | Oklahoma State University | Stillwater, OK
    A horticulture summer academy for Oklahoma high school students, particularly from low-income, minority, and/or first-generation families, was started from scratch in 2010. Over the course of two weeks each summer, up to 25 students entering 9th or 10th grade live on a college campus, do hands-on activities in a wide range of horticulture areas, and explore careers in horticulture and landscape architecture. We will share the logistics of recruiting, legal waivers and releases, daily schedules and activities, efficient use of dollars, the outcomes of the academy (short- and long-term), and finding funding past the initial grant period.

    C4 | Curing Plant-Blindness in Kids – Expanded Tools and Resources
    Susan E. Yoder | Executive Director | Seed Your Future |  Martinsville, IN

    Plants are everywhere — yet plants are nowhere on most people’s minds. This plant-blindness is especially rampant in kids. Seed Your Future and its more than 150 partners launched BLOOM! plant-based curriculum with Scholastic in 2018.  New activities, lesson plans, and resources show kids the power of plants and the rewarding careers in the green collar world. Session attendees will receive those resources and we’ll also strategize together about what else is needed to help you inspire kids toward a life-long love of plants and potentially a green collar career.

    D2 | Dirt Girls to the Rescue! Gender Equity and Empowerment
    Dr. Carrie Strohl  | The School Garden Doctor | Napa, CA
    Dirt Girls is a longstanding afterschool club expanding STEM opportunities for female youth through environmental horticulture. In this session, I will outline the conditions for establishing a culture of inclusion by comparing “typical” approaches in garden-based learning with an apprenticeship model. In addition, I will describe research-based approaches for empowering girls. Participants will identify a core challenge or problem with their program or organization and then, through facilitated discussion, brainstorm pathways for promoting career development, leadership roles, and/or resilience strategies through taking an equity-focused stance.

    D3 | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden: Leading the next generation of scientists
    Sara Zajic | Explorer Coordinator | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Coral Gables, FL
    Jamie Anderson | Magnet School Program Coordinator | Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden | Coral Gables, FL

    The education programs at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden have been breaking educational barriers since 1980.  In this session, we examine how Fairchild’s strong partnerships have revolutionized how students learn about real-world plant science in the nation’s fifth-largest school district. This collaborative effort has grown to include innovative and next-generation learning initiatives, notably the country’s first ever botany-focused magnet schools.   Learn how Fairchild’s local connectivity has broadened its reach to strengthen engagement, deepening relationships with national partners such as NASA and ultimately reaching more than 125,000 students annually.

    E7 | Undergraduate Engagement in a Public School Garden Program
    Dr. Amy Goodall | Associate Professor |  James Madison University | Harrisonburg, VA
    Paul Goodall | Professor Emeritus | James Madison University | Harrisonburg, VA

    Since first implementing a school garden in 2012, each year James Madison University Geographic Science undergraduate students create learning tools designed for increasing elementary student interests in sustaining the gardens and its ecosystem. Join us to learn how the undergraduates engage with public school students in the gardens and about the additional benefits for the undergraduates, the public schools and university faculty, and the elementary students.

    G4 | But They're Teenagers! : Successfully Teaching a High-School Horticulture Class
    Kristina Runde | Science Teacher | Fort Collins High School | Fort Collins, CO
    This workshop will feature guidelines for successfully facilitating student-led discussions on topics such as pollinator health and agricultural sustainability. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences working with teens and will have the opportunity to try out some hands-on activities used in the presenter's classroom. This workshop is geared not only toward classroom teachers, but also education coordinators in environments such as community gardens, local parks, and similar settings.

    Over 40 other sessions will be offered at the symposium to help educators creatively tackle issues such as maximizing growing space, aligning garden lessons to standards, and cultivating community partnerships.