HFHK Adopts New Science Standards for Garden Program

To compete in the global job market, Delaware students must have an excellent understanding of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). According to the 2015 Science State Snapshot Report by National Report Card, Grade 4 students in Delaware dropped 3 points below the national average from 153 in 2009 to 150 in 2015. The implementation of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is intended to help students use critical thinking and understanding of science concepts, such as energy and its purpose, relationships in ecosystems, and seed & plant structures.  

HFHK staff has spent the past year updating our lessons to support NGSS standards that many schools have adopted. So what’s different about our new, updated curriculum?  
* (12) videos of the staff delivering the indoor portions of our lessons so teachers no longer have to rely on written scripts or smartboard lessons. 

* “Train-the-Trainer” videos to optimize staff time spent on-site

* More hands-on and interactive learning by encouraging students to explore options to garden dilemmas, then arrive at the best solutions.

* Creative modeling, such as viewing gardens as ecosystems and using Legos to visualize the concepts of matter and energy.  

When a handful of schools decided to proceed with a spring garden in early 2021, we moved to pilot these new lessons with students and teachers for every grade level. The feedback we received is both positive and constructive. All videos will be available for partner schools come Fall 2021.
5th grade students at Highlands Elementary School work with Legos to learn about energy, its different jobs and forms.
Funding for this important work is provided by a School Health Grant from the Division of Public Health, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS). HFHK thanks DHSS for their continued support.     5th grade students at Highlands Elementary School work with Legos to learn about energy, its different jobs and forms.

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