There’s a lot that goes on to get fruit and vegetables on
your table, including some true marvels of science.
Young children across the county get to learn about each
step of the process when Green Machine visits their school.
Green Machine is one of the outreach programs run by SDCOE’s
Outdoor Education program. Since 1998, it has provided interactive lessons that
help students in kindergarten through 5th grade understand where food comes
from and why a healthy environment is important to good nutrition.
“Green Machine is a wonderful hands-on science program
allowing students the opportunity to learn about real-world issues facing
scientists today,” said Kelly Burr, a teacher at Lindo Park Elementary School
The Green Machine van brings three learning stations nearly
daily to schools across the county. The soils science station demonstrates how
earthworms and microorganisms play a role in growing our food. An integrated
pest management station illustrates the difference between insects that are beneficial
and those that are harmful to crops. A water cycle station showcases how all
water on earth is connected.
The lessons are aligned with Next Generation Science
Standards concepts and reinforce what the students are learning in the
The curriculum was created with insight and help from the
San Diego Farm Bureau. The “seed-to-table” lessons teach students about
healthier food choices, help them get a greater understanding of natural
systems, and allow them to use scientific concepts in a real-world situation.
“I learned a lot about where my food comes from,” a
3rd-grade student from Encanto Elementary said.