A special event will be offered April 22 for Gorge students who seek to learn the science behind our food system. The “Every Day is Earth Day: School Garden Symposium” will be held on the campus of Hood River Middle School.
Jesuit Volunteer Corps Americorps member Hollis Dunlop, who serves at Gorge Grown Food Network, is coordinating the event, which will be held on Earth Day, April 22, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Twelve different schools from around the Columbia Gorge have committed to take part in the event.
Hood River home-schooled students Aiden Wood and Saylor Sundby, the creators of the Save the Bees documentary, Master Gardeners and other interested community members will also be present.
“Our goals are to create a space for middle and high school-aged students to feel empowered in their gardening endeavors,” said Dunlop. “We want to create a community of support for school garden programs and to educate school garden coordinators and community members about how to successfully implement experiential garden learning within a STEM curriculum.”
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
Todd Dierker, director of Gorge Grown, HRMS teachers Michael Becker and Andy Angstrom, of the food and conservation and engineering programs, respectively, as well as Principal Brent Emmons have been instrumental in planning for this event.
At the beginning of the day there will be a tour rotation through the new HRMS greenhouse, garden, learning kitchen and science classroom with various sessions, including solar electric systems and vermiculture.
The tour rotation will be run primarily by HRMS students with some guidance from Becker and Angstrom.
During the second half of the event, students will be presenting about their garden programs to one another in a science fair-like manner.