The Edible Learning Lab program includes 274 lessons for K-12, more than 250 supporting resources for teachers, equipment for 8 interconnected learning stations, and ongoing expert support to keep your Lab running at full speed.
Our garden based learning curriculum is set against the backdrop of 8 Learning Stations including: Seed Starting, Vermiculture, Raised Planters, Hydroponics, Composting, Rain Harvesting, Seed Saving Library, and Teaching Kitchen. This immersive, get-your-hands-dirty learning space allows students to explore the deconstructed food production process from soil to table.
The Edible Learning Lab is one of my favorite programming decisions. Best revenue stream for an after-school program I have ever seen – It truly allows an organization to diversify their funding in the midst of learning quality life skills. It is amazing.
– Lisa Mueller, Boys & Girls Club of the Big Horns, CEO 2013-2015
Why your school needs our edible education curriculum
Not sure if edible education has a place at your school?
It does, and bringing edible education into your classroom is much easier than you think.
Food education is the most powerful way to affect positive change in kids’ lives. Developing a hands-on relationship with food builds an essential skill set that kids will take with them into adulthood having a profound impact on their health and wellness for years to come.
As food related disease continues to gain a stronger grasp on our youngest generation, don’t you think it’s time to make a change? Don’t kids deserve to be armed with the knowledge and skills to break the cycle? We certainly think so.
Every school needs to provide edible education. Period. Of course, we believe there are countless reasons why your school needs an Edible Learning Lab. Here are a few:
- Revenue – You bet! What other program can you think of that has the potential to generate revenue? The Edible Learning Lab functions not only as an immersive classroom but also as a small scale farm providing fresh local produce that can be sold at farmers’ markets, to local grocers and restaurants, directly to families in the community, or used to provide nutritious meals from students right in your school’s dining hall.
- Confidence – Student Confidence, a measure that we track carefully in each Edible Learning Lab, soars as student work through the curriculum. In fact, we designed the curriculum to do just that, foster student confidence. It’s the cornerstone of social cognitive theory and the framework on which we built the entire program.
- Academic Enrichment – Every day in the Lab is unique. Some days are filled with new challenges that seemed to pop up out of nowhere. One thing that is constant is the need for students to solve problems, work together, make calculations on the fly, and choose the best course of action knowing that the answer is anything but certain. The daily operation of the Edible Learning Lab leverages and builds on students’ knowledge of math, reading, engineering, science, technology, and ability to reason. It’s a perfect compliment to the instruction they get in the classroom during the school year.
- Engagement – A surprising thing happens when the doors of an Edible Learning Lab open for the first time. Proud parents, curious community members, and invested civic leaders find their way into the Lab. They explore, and then without fail, they ask how they can support the program. Folks volunteer in the classroom. Parents drop in with pictures of their children’s gardens at home. Customers come from all corners of the community including restaurants.
Allow me to paint the picture for you
Not sure what students actually do or learn while they are in the Lab?
Students explore the entire food production process from seed to table.
Modern Steader launched the first Edible Learning Lab at the Boys & Girls Club in Buffalo, WY in October, 2015. The equipment for the hydroponics, raised planters, vermicomposting and hot composting, and seed starting stations was in place within 60 days and production was underway by late December. Students in the Boys & Girls Club Afterschool Program rotated down in groups of 6-10 each day after school to learn about the deconstructed food production process.
By summer break at the end of May 2016, just 8 months after opening the Edible Learning Lab, milestones had been set:
- Students have started more than 5000 plants from seed
- More than 100 lbs of produce has been harvested and sold to local restaurants
- Students have grown and tasted more than 87 varieties of fruits and vegetables
- More than 150 lbs of compost have been cured and used in the Lab
- 1200 seedlings were started in the Lab and sold to local gardeners
- All 203 Second Graders from Meadowlark Elementary have attended a class in the Lab
- A group of 12 homeschool students have attended a weekly “double session” in the Lab since March
- More than 200 community members have toured the Edible Learning Lab with an average of 3 new tours a day
Are you with me? Do you see the bigger picture? Of course you do! Take a look inside our first Edible Learning Lab in Buffalo, WY.
Join the mission of Modern Steader
Our goal is to bring edible education to every single student K-12 and we cannot do that without your help. By investing in our edible education curriculum, you are establishing a sound foundation for an edible education program at your school that will live on for years to come, educating students about health, wellness, nutrition, the food production process, and more.
Our program provides a compelling backdrop for the exploration of math, science, art, history, civics, engineering and design, ecology, and technology. But developing the knowledge base in the classic subjects is just the tip of the iceberg as they say. Our edible education curriculum also develops real life skills that can only be cultivated with hands on experience. Students will learn how to work together to solve problems. They model each other in the process and discover their confidence as they find success and overcome failure.
The Edible Learning Lab is a cross-curricular program that should be embraced by all departments in your school. Let’s start the conversation.
Let’s discuss the possibilities