This is a sponsored post. However, my passion for education and global water concerns are, as always, my own.
I am supremely disappointed in my inability to grow things in a sustainable manner. It's not entirely my fault, though, because I grew up learning how to fix things and cook so that's my wheelhouse. When I first became a homeowner I envied the manicured lawns and flowers my neighbors kept but instead of trying to grow anything, I bought potted plants that lasted only as long as I remembered to water them.
This house, though, the one that I share with The Cuban, is laid out in such a way that makes it possible for sunlight to hit it just right for a nice garden. You'd think I would have a nice one, but weeding is truly a pain and one that I grumble through as a chore each summer. We've tried growing some food but with the woods so close to our house the bunnies ate everything or the bugs got it and the weeds OH MY GOD ALL THE WEEDS.
I freely admit that I fail at such things.
However, this year we're trying hydroponics and we're not doing it outside at all. The Cuban is spearheading this and building things and he made a bell siphon to keep the water flowing. It's all very complicated and I'd explain it but I do best just eating the tomatoes and cilantro and rosemary he's growing. It's our own little biome but not really, you know? (See? I told you I shouldn't explain those things.)
But, do you know what time it is? It's time for another VIRTUAL field trip.
I truly enjoy sharing these because you can do it at home or in your classroom. You don't even have to pack a bag for this.
The Nature Conservancy's Nature Works Everywhere's is planning a live Google Hangout for grade 3-8 classrooms focusing on comparing and contrasting the role of water and how it works in two dramatically different biomes – the rainforests Washington State and the desert in Arizona. Students can learn how water affects and is affected by the people, animals and plants in these two distinctive ecosystems. (So, a bit different than our homemade hydroponics.)
The Virtual Field Trip - Wild Biomes: From America’s Rainforest to America’s Desert
If you're a classroom teacher, here are the bare bones details:
- On April 8, 2015 at 12 pm ET, The Nature Conservancy is putting on a virtual field trip they've titled Wild Biomes: From America’s Rainforest to America’s Desert. The Nature Conservancy’s senior hydrologist on The Nature Conservancy’s Global Water team will be teaching the science behind how people and nature can work together.
- Teachers and parents can sign up to take part in the virtual field trip here: http://ow.ly/K9huo
- Why sign up? The aim of this virtual field trip is to build students’ knowledge of and emotional connection to environmental issues that are at the heart of The Nature Conservancy’s mission.
- How can you join? There are 3 ways to do this. One, teachers and parents can watch the virtual field trip live as a Google Hangout On Air on The Nature Conservancy’s Google + channel: https://plus.google.com/+TheNatureConservancy, OR you can catch it live while streaming on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7DzF7EQzd8. If neither of those work, they'll be showing it on their Nature Works Everywhere YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUJMHqab_uJsqNZiwfNyg8w
- For teachers: The Nature Conservancy and NatureWorksEverywhere are excellent classroom resources for science and geography.
Tomorrow, my own 6th grade students are participating in our culminating project on sustainable and clean water. We do this every year in order to learn how water affects people and how clean water is a problem in many developing countries. In fact, this field trip is a natural extension of what my own students are doing because it also looks at how people affect water. They've learned where their water comes from already and that globally we have a water crisis.
On the field trip, students will get to hear from Kari Vigerstol, the senior hydrologist on The Nature Conservancy’s Global Water team from Seattle. It's hosted by Tyler DeWitt who will introduce the field trip, interview Kari, and take questions from students. Since it's virtual, we'll travel to the lush, rain-soaked splendor of the Olympic Peninsula and explore the urban watershed of Seattle. While they get a lot of water, the challenge is keeping it safe and clean. Next, we’ll head to Arizona’s dry, desert landscape and take a tour down the Verde River, one source of water that nourishes this parched land. Here, people and other living things must adapt to a limited water supply, yet sudden and violent storms can dump seven inches of rain in a single night.
Teachers may want to pre-teach some vocabulary that's necessary to understanding just how nature and water work with people. During the chat, there will be a couple of students asking questions of the experts. These Key Concepts and Terms will get students started:
Tune in for our live Google hangout at 12:00 pm (EST) on April 8, 2015, to find out how geography, people, and water interact in two of America’s “wildly” unique biomes. It's 40 minutes long, and my students and I will be there. Join us! Maybe sometime in the near future, I'll show you how those tomatoes and cilantro and rosemary turn out.
How Natural Areas Filter Water http://ow.ly/K9ykK
Managing Salmon to Support Healthy Forests http://ow.ly/K9zxe
Gardens Activity Guide: Water http://ow.ly/K9Amz