Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

5 Fun Activities to Celebrate Earth Day!

Monday, April 18th, 2016
Dig into the Earth on Earth day. Less than 3% of the entire Earth’s surface is ideal for growing our food.  So why not, dig in and experience it. Here are some fun ideas: (more…)

New High School Resource: Feeding the World & Protecting the Environment

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
Recently, the Nutrients for Life Foundation released the latest resource for high school teachers entitled Feeding the World & Protecting the Environment. “We are thrilled to offer this resource at a time of world environmental awareness and unparalleled technological advancements that support responsible fertilizer use,” says Nutrients for Life Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. (more…)

The Resources You Need To Start Your School Garden

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
  I believe every school should have a garden. Think back to your education, what do you remember? What teacher had an impact? I bet those memories are tied to an activity or teacher who brought innovation and experiential learning to the classroom.   What makes a school garden successful? Purpose, People and Passion   “Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration.” -Lou Erickson   Purpose: The success of a school garden depends upon the fertility of the soil and the number of times the garden is used. The garden has to have purpose. The class has to have a reason to visit the garden, if not it sits idle, full of potential and completely untapped. Bring the class to the garden every day, even if just for a minute. A garden that is seen is a garden that thrives. Find curriculum that enhances the classroom academic standards. Use curriculum that gives you a reason to spend time in the garden; incorporate science, math, English, reading, nutrition and exercise into garden time. If the garden has purpose, it will be used and it will produce more than fruit; it will produce knowledge, understanding, application, and change.   People: It’s nearly impossible to build, maintain and grow a school garden by yourself. It takes a team of people. Create a committee; include staff, custodial team members, administration, parents and students. Communicate frequently, share a vision and move forward together.   Passion: A garden is living and it takes dedication to make it productive, especially in a school setting. Most school gardens begin when one or two individuals have a strong desire. Passion can dwindle as weeds grow, in addition to time and financial constraints. The passion to keep a garden growing must be continually fertilized with…

New Resource: High School Interactive Lessons

Monday, February 29th, 2016
  As an organization that tries to make teaching about soil nutrients as easy as possible, we are excited to provide a new, supplemental resource: Interactive Lesson Plans! Interactive Lesson plans are ready-to-go slide decks that correspond to the Foundation’s Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century curriculum. Available via download, the Interactive Lessons provide enriching visuals and interactive opportunities for students to gain a deep understanding of soil and crop nutrients. Take a look... (more…)

Behind the Scenes: From Soil to Store Virtual Field Trip

Monday, January 11th, 2016
  Wow! Over 54,000 students joined us in December for our Live from the Farm: From Soil to Store virtual field trip event! If you were one of them, thank you for tuning in. (more…)

From The Ground Up: The Science of Soil Year Two Launch!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Today we are launching new activities and features on From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil! Early in 2014, Nutrients for Life Foundation expanded its reach into the digital world through a partnership with Discovery Education, From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil (FTGU).  Together, the two organizations created a microsite with a collection of digital activities, interactive lesson plans, career spotlights and videos all about soil science and crop nutrients. FTGU is designed to extend the success of Nutrients for Life’s Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century curriculum by providing cutting-edge, educational and dynamic multimedia content designed to engage 21st century classrooms. Now in year two, the Foundation is looking ahead and planning a virtual field trip, three new video segments, an interactive digital exploration activity, two additional fertilizer industry career spotlights, and two more at-home family learning activities. Family Activities More than ever, consumers are looking to buy high quality and responsibly sourced food. There has never been a better time to get into agriculture-related fields, but many students and their families are unaware of the myriad careers in this sector, particularly those that relate to science, technology, math, and engineering. This fall, a family activity will introduce students and their families to different career paths related to agriculture and soil science. Students will work with their parents to assess their skills and interests and then match those skills and interests to different career options, such as engineering, fertilizer blending and spraying in the agriculture sector. Another family activity will feature an overview of the ‘farm-to-food’ supply chain. Farmers are the first step in the food chain that feeds the world. Every part of the farm-to-food supply chain requires human and/or natural resources and, when one part of the chain is affected, they are all…

10 Ways Soil Nutrients are Similar to Human Nutrients

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
“Show me your hands! Wow, they look too clean! Let’s get them dirty!” School is way more fun when the students get to dig in! I am a regular volunteer at our school garden and the students love to see me in the hallway because they know they are going to get dirty while they learn. With almost every garden lesson we talk about the importance of fertile soil. To make it relevant to the students, I often compare their needs to the needs of plants. Humans and plants both have nutritional needs. Whether you in the garden, the kitchen, or at school, you too can teach the importance of human and plant nutrition. Here are ten ways soil nutrients are similar to human nutrients. Nutrients for plants mainly come from the soil. Nutrients for humans primarily come from food, often food grown in the soil. Potassium helps human control muscles and the rhythm of the heart. In plants, potassium helps plants control and use water efficiently. In the context of plant requirements, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are called the non-mineral nutrients. People need these too. The full list of essential nutrients both humans and plants need includes manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, iron, copper, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and chlorine. Nutrition labels & fertilizer bag labels give a clear breakdown of the nutrients provided. If only I didn’t have to worry about pesky calories like a pea plant! All of the essential nutrients plants and humans need can be found on the periodic table of elements. Iron in humans helps move oxygen. Iron helps the body make hemoglobin that moves oxygen and hemoglobin through the blood. This is similar to phosphorus moving energy around the plant. Calcium equals strong bones for humans. Whereas in plants, nitrogen helps grow strong stalks.…

FFA Friday: At Large

Friday, August 15th, 2014
It’s FFA Friday! Today we are highlighting the top chapters from the At Large category. The Helping Communities Grow program’s at large category had eleven participating FFA chapters this year. Congratulations to the top three chapters, Canby FFA, Troy FFA, and Corinth Holders FFA. (more…)

Contest: Racing to Feed the World through Soil Science

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Attention High School Science Teachers: Start Your Engines! Nutrients for Life Foundation has partnered with BRANDT Consolidated - a leading agricultural company that serves growers around the globe –to organize a “Racing to Feed the World” contest for high school students. (more…)

Teacher Retreat Recap: A Meeting of the Minds at the Mine

Monday, July 28th, 2014
With beautiful mountain ranges as a backdrop, eight educators from around the country recently convened at the Simplot Smoky Canyon mine to “talk soil.” Their mission was an important one: guide the development of future education materials for the Nutrients for Life Foundation. (more…)

USA Science and Engineering Festival

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
Recently, the Nutrients for Life Foundation participated in the third annual USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF).The event has taken place in Washington, D.C. for the past 4 years and is the largest science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) event in the United States. (more…)