This week kicked off the Groundwork Summer Learning Academy, a two-week intensive summer camp to prepare Lincoln Cluster 6th graders for academic success in middle school math and science. Rooted in the demonstrated success of informal STEM education, the program will serve sixty students at the EarthLab, Groundwork San Diego’s outdoor Climate Action Education Center. Students will be addressing San Diego’s regional water quality and water conservation challenges, designing systems and protocols to bring environmental benefits to their schools and neighborhoods.
The program will be led by Lincoln Cluster teachers, all of whom have trained throughout the Spring in the latest cutting edge STEM teaching practices. Teachers will lead students through a series of hand-on learning activities, supported by science journals. They will then escort students on a daily afternoon field trip. Field trip destinations are:
- Whale watching
- San Diego Zoo
- San Diego Air and Space Museum
- San Diego Natural History Museum
- Scripps Birch Aquarium
- Fleet Science Center
- Cuyamaca and Torrey Pines Nature Centers
- Living Coast Discovery Center
The program will culminate in a student-led workshop to share with families and community leaders the responses students developed to the water issues. These will include:
- Pollution caused by contamination of water by pesticides, fertilizers, gas/oil, and food waste
- Overwatering lawns and shrubs
- Excessive car washing in driveways
- Soil erosion caused by uncontrolled water runoff.
Bringing it Home
Discussions will emphasize that continuing current water use trends will impact the region’s available potable water supplies and the individual families’ water costs. Parents and Discussion Leaders will discuss practices that the community can implement to contribute to water conservation in homes and schools:
· Reducing the use of water and reusing water
· Installing rain barrels
· Installing systems that reuse greywater from washing machines to irrigate on-site landscaping
· Landscaping with water-wise plants and native vegetation.