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  • Wednesday, July 17, 2013 | Filed under Engineering , Instructional Aids , Science , Math







    Solarization is a simple non-chemical technique, which captures radiant heat energy from the sun.  This energy causes physical, chemical, and biological changes in the soil.  These changes lead to control or suppression of soil borne plant pathogens such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and pests along with weed, weed seed and seedlings.



    Helpful Hint: Solarization is most likely to be effective during long days of high temperatures and no wind.  The summer months are the optimum time for solarization.



    How to Solarize?

    Step 1: Spade the soil 2 -3 inches ...

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  • Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | Filed under Engineering , Science , Math


    The Fibonacci numbers sequencing of natural objects and processes are natures’ way of creating pattern and order. For example, this naturally occurring numbering system is a way of growing patterns in plants that allow leaf arrangements to maximize space for each leaf so that the amount of light that falls on the plant is distributed equally; leaves on plants are staggered in a spiral pattern to allow the gathering of light and to prevent the casting of shadows on adjacent leaves. This sequence recurs in other structures found throughout nature in flowers, fruits and seeds. Flowers have petal arrangements ...

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  • Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | Filed under Engineering , Environmental Stewardship , School Garden Installation , Community


    They are smiling because the water conserving drip system has been engineered and installed at Burton Hill Elementary School in Fort Worth, TX on Friday, May 10 with the most expert guidance and assistance from them; and they are Debbie Key and Bill Vandever, Tarrant County Master Gardeners extraordinaire. They’re happy that 200 + folks from the community at large, specifically volunteers from Mercedes Benz Corporation, parents, teachers and students have completed another REAL School Garden for instructing and facilitating knowledge through nature in context with the real world.

    People like these folks (Debbie and Bill) volunteer their time ...

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  • Thursday, May 24, 2012 | Filed under Engineering , Community , Science , Math , Smart Potatoes


           Chemical to electrical energy transfer to power a calculator with Solanum tuberosum (Potatoes)

    There are several interesting things happening with potatoes during this potato harvest time in the DFW area. One standout is the “Smart Potatoes” campaign initiated by REAL School Gardens in concert with BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas) whereby 30 elementary schools in 5 school districts are growing, tending and harvesting potatoes to donate to their local food pantries.

    Another potato happening was that on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 -- United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Texas Instruments in conjunction with REAL School Gardens and ...

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  • Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | Filed under Engineering , Sustainability and Funding , Instructional Aids , Science

    Our friends at First Choice Power wanted us to share with all of you that they have a $2,000 energy grant opportunity available for schools.  The focus of these grants is energy efficiency, and First Choice Power is encouraging projects that provide opportunities for students to learn about different types of energy and how to conserve energy.

     Pond with solar panel

    Solar energy is being harvested in the garden at Hobbs Williams Elementary in Grand Prairie!

    So, if you've been thinking about getting a solar-powered water pump for your school's pond or if you have other ideas about how to incorporate energy (or ...

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  • Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | Filed under Engineering , Volunteering , Environmental Stewardship , Sustainability and Funding , School Garden Installation , Community

    This past Monday volunteers from Medtronic joined teachers from the Academy of Carrie F Thomas Elementary to install a drip irrigation system.  The team was guided by Dotty Woodson,  Extension Program Specialist for Water Resources with the Texas Agrilife Extension Service.

      Dotty Woodson from Extension services teaches at Carrie F THomas Elementary

    With Dotty's help, they were able to install a drip irrigation system that will water the vegetable garden, butterfly garden, a forest of trees, the fruit orchard, and it will even fill up their pond and birdbath.  And, while doing the installation, everyone also learned how they can install a drip system to conserve water at home.

    This summer the ...

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  • Wednesday, April 6, 2011 | Filed under Engineering , Environmental Stewardship , School Garden Installation , School Garden Design

    Foster Elementary is now the proud owner of a solar pond!  Foster did not have to install an electrical connection in their garden nor will they ever pay an electricity bill for operating the pond.  Our sun powers the pump that aerates the water and keeps the plants and fish healthy – the pump even works on most cloudy days. 

    solar pond

    The help of many community members is what made this dream of solar pond a reality.  The PTA parents and teachers collected funds for the solar technology.  Water Gardens Galore provided expertise in how best to build the pond. Chesapeake Energy ...

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  • Thursday, January 27, 2011 | Filed under Engineering , School Garden Design , Science , REAL Supporters

     Students, teachers, and volunteer dig hole

    Do you dig?  Have you ever dug a hole with a child?  If not, then you should.  Just ask Principal Lockwood Terry and Ms. Johnny over at McNair Elementary in Dallas how many lessons a child learns from something as simple as a hole!  Thanks to sponsorship by Nike and the NFL Players Association, lots of holes were dug at the McNair Garden Installation last Saturday, but one of the most special was the hole for the pond.  This particular hole was started by volunteer labor from Dallas Independent School District.  The finishing touches were provided by Steve Moeller ...

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  • Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | Filed under Engineering , Science , Math

    I was pleased to find myself included on an email from one of our school’s fabulous Garden Coordinators flowing over with fantastic ideas and inspiration for her fellow educators to get outdoors and put to good use their new outdoor classroom. 

    Reading through the list of tasks she has encouraged her teachers and their students to begin taking on (namely… weeding!), a Rolodex of teaching ideas go spinning through my mind.  They may not necessarily align with the curriculum framework for this week of the 1st six weeks, but teachers know that teachable moments rarely fit onto ...

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  • Thursday, July 8, 2010 | Filed under Engineering , Environmental Stewardship , Language Arts , Science , REAL Supporters , Math


    (Photo Credit: Matthew Rainwater) 

    On June 17, Daniels Elementary School in Grand Prairie hosted a Community Wind Fair to celebrate the end of a two-week summer academy that intensively examined wind and solar energy in Texas.  Rising third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students voluntarily participated in this enrichment program, which explored alternative energy through an integrated STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.  The academy was created by the school’s math, science and reading strategists.  Science strategist Kyle Damon attended the REAL School Gardens “Question the System: Exploring Alternative Energy in the Outdoor Classroom” workshop sponsored by Motorola Foundation...

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