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 Green Machine Teaches Students About Food

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 in Lakeside.

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 classroom.

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.