We are happy to welcome teachers and hopefully students to this new learning management site for OPEN. Teachers will be able to access OPEN's curriculum, and connect and discuss with teachers and students throughout the world wide OPEN network through this site.
This Teacher Guide and classroom curricula lessons are intended as an introduction to our Sustainable Agriculture Project-Based Learning (PBL) STEM program series. It is set up in two sections, our in class curricula is especially written to prepare students that have little or no farm or garden experience, or much life science background for our PBL school garden plot global research experiment, and the second offers detailed instructions for outdoor school and/or farm plot preparation and a successive implementation of regenerative practices to be tested in the real world at school gardens and smallholder farms.
Each of the introductory in class lessons may take one to three class sessions depending on teacher class time and activities selected to be the focus for each lesson. Lessons 1-3 are the introductory in classroom lessons which teachers may choose skip or use them as for review basic botany and biogeochemical cycles with students. In Lesson 4 students and teachers progress to our detailed instruction guide. Here over a succession of seasons students and researchers will put to the test modern regenerative agriculture practices by setting up special outdoor plots and planting nutritious standard and local research crops.
The guides offer detailed instructions for preparation of diked research plots which are designed to protect against erosion and to conserve precious water resources. We continue the soil regeneration process through the addition of crop waste into topsoil, and then season 2 the use of cover crops, introduction of no till farm methods, and aerobic composting, intercropping, and a variety of means of increasing overall local biodiversity all of which will lead to sustainable agriculture development.
Students then as apprentice farmers begin the food crop planting stage, followed by the cultivation stage. Manual student record-keeping is ongoing from the start with students to submit weekly record tables and images and observations, and ultimately harvesting and measuring the yield. This data collection is the start of your students’ citizen science research experiments, and if the project progresses as intended, we next integrate smart farming sensor technologies to capture detailed information on soils, water and atmospheric conditions.