The Greenhouse Project 6,7,8th grade curriculum has been developed under the Challenge Based Module Design based on the Novare Schools model. Modules are intensive, short-term interdisciplinary courses developed around real-world challenges. They are designed to enhance students’ understanding of big ideas and broad global concepts, and their development and application of 21st century skills – the kind of things educators hope students will remember and still need to know and use 20 years from now.
These Challenge Based modules delve into STEM and Sustainability concepts through long-term independent projects connected to real world problems and applications. In this way, the students’ work actually addresses global realities and solving modern day problems becomes the driving force of the module. Each day in class, students work towards understanding and solving “the challenge” through content and skills. The modular approach of learning provides context-based Common Core Standards content, and enables students to complete the challenge at a high level of quality.
Each module uses technology with creativity and innovation in a collaborative learning environment. Students study a topic, identify a problem, form a hypothesis, design an experiment/a project, test the hypothesis, and analyses the results. Students work with piers, their teachers, and experts in their communities. They develop a deeper knowledge of the subjects, solve challenges, take action, share their experience, and enter into a global discussion about important issues.
Each module is designed to teach an intensive 6 hours per week-12 weeks session. In collaboration with the Manhattan School for Children, NY Sun Works has developed the following modules:
• Building Sustainable Cities: students design a model of a sustainable building focusing on energy, water, waste, building materials, and use of the open space.
• Risky Business: students design and implement a campaign to promote sustainable and healthy living choices focusing on the systems of the body, impacts of a variety of choices, connections between the human body system and other impacted systems.
• The Hydroponic Games: students design, construct, and evaluate an original hydroponic system which includes the development of an operations manual, testing/maintaining the systems, farming, and selling the produce and the system itself.
• We Are What You Eat: Students are tasked with researching the current food system, developing ways that the community (as individuals and as a whole) can effectively begin to change the food system, designing an educational and persuasive advertisement campaign about their solution for a specific audience, pitching that campaign to a client, and finally sharing the campaign with the intended audience.
NY Sun Works is currently developing 4 additional modules for high schools: “Conserving our Oceans”, “Conserving our Land”, “Conserving Our Living Environment” and “Future Farmers and Food Entrepreneurship”