The STEPS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Programming and Sustainability) for Gifted Students program is a dynamic experience rooted in the unique environment of the Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD) of Melbourne, Florida.
Students will become urban environmentalists as they investigate the scientific phenomena of the world around them. What is causing the imbalance of algal growth in the Indian River Lagoon? How is the food that grows in our garden connected to our local ecosystem? Can the air that we breathe be affected by what grows in the Lagoon? Students will learn advanced techniques in sample collection and individual field journals will chronicle their explorations in their outdoor classroom. For two Saturdays of every month students will be immersed in hands-on experiments designed to deepen their understanding of environmental chemistry, soil/water science and much more.
STEPS students will learn how to utilize computer science concepts, engineering and coding to create interactive data collection systems that can increase food and plant production. The team of innovative educators at Codecraft Lab have partnered with The Verdi EcoSchool to design an incredible network of smart sensors that can help to maintain the optimal balance of moisture, temperature and air in a closed growing environment.
Students will learn how coding language, computer science and technology in general can become powerful tools in solutions created to benefit our immediate environment.
The outdoor laboratory at The Verdi EcoSchool is located, primarily, on our farm and garden. A 1/2 acre plot of land shared with the EGAD Community Garden, the farm exposes students to a multi-sensory learning environment full of tangible examples of the science that happens in our own backyards. Students will also travel throughout the EGAD "campus" to experience the dynamics of a diverse array of ecosystems - each of which relies upon the other for continued survival and balance.
Outdoor education facilitates exposure to community & environmental issues, real-world research and meaningful inquiry-based hands-on experiences which connect students to their community.
The Fall STEPS for Gifted Students program begins on Saturday October 15th, 2016.