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Teacher is with middle school students posing around a raised garden bed in the city.

The Alabama Extension home grounds team presents STEM in the Garden, a teacher training workshop and webinar series.

For a school’s outdoor classroom to be successful, it must be grown and maintained correctly. This course will train teachers on basic gardening principles and ways to align the Alabama gardening calendar with a school year calendar. It will also include solutions to common problems associated with outdoor classrooms. STEM in the Garden will strengthen a person’s garden knowledge while maximizing their school’s garden’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching capability. This course follows along with Clemson University’s outdoor classroom curriculum, ‘STEM in the Garden,’ which is recommended for purchase to accompany the class.

Live Online Workshops

Professionals are currently creating the schedule for live online workshops. These webinars will be presented through Zoom, an online video presentation format. Registration is required and continuing education credits (CEUs) are available on completion of the series. Contact Rudy Pacumbaba for more information about the series, upcoming sessions, or to be placed on the waiting list for the next STEM in the Garden workshop.

What to Expect

A typical online STEM in the Garden series is composed of six, two-hour evening sessions. During the sessions, home grounds agents will offer two presentations focused on information directly related to planning, maintaining, and teaching within a classroom STEM garden.

Past presentation topics have included

  • Soil and Plant Nutrition
  • Basic Plant Biology
  • Water and Irrigation in the Outdoor Classroom
  • Building and Maintaining Raised Bed Gardens
  • Basics of Growing Vegetables and Herbs
  • Edible Landscape Ideas for School Grounds
  • Pollinator Gardening
  • Insects in the Garden: Good and Bad
  • Lawns and Managing Weeds in the Outdoor Classroom
  • Composting and Vermicomposting for Schools
  • Plant Propagation in the Classroom
  • Safe Chemical Use in the Outdoor Classroom

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Nine CEUs are available with this course (1.5 per session) through the AAMU/UAH Regional In-service Center on the PowerSchool platform. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will only be awarded to those who attend the entire session of each webinar in the series.

Recommended Materials

It is recommended that participants obtain the following STEM curriculum textbook and supplemental planning calendar before the session begins.

  • The Garden STEM: Curriculum for your Garden Classroom
    by Katie Donohoe (Author), Olivia M. Thompson (Editor),
    Torborg Davern (Artist)
    Paperback: 600 pages
    Publisher: College of Charleston (September 10, 2015) Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0986187100
    ISBN-13: 978-0986187100
  • Seasonal Planting Guide and Calendar for School Gardens
    by Amy L. Dabbs, Zachary Snipes, Olivia M. Thompson (Editor)
    Paperback: 40 pages
    Publisher: College of Charleston (September 30, 2016)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0986187135
    ISBN-13: 978-0986187131

Textbook and Calendar Source: Amy Dabbs, Statewide School & Community Gardening Coordinator, Clemson Extension Horticulture
Phone: 843-402-5328

More Information

Allyson Shabel at ams0137@aces.edu or Rudy Pacumbaba at rop0001@aces.edu for more information about this workshop series or other Alabama Extension gardening and landscaping programs.

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