The BRIT SEED School® is the 2012 Community Outreach Award Recipient presented by REAL School Gardens
The BRIT SEED School is the first non-school organization to be honored with the award
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 23, 2012) – The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) announced today that its teacher education program, The BRIT SEED School (TBSS), is the 2012 Community Outreach Award recipient presented by REAL School Gardens, the Fort Worth garden-based education organization. The award is presented annually to school partners who extend teaching, learning, and service beyond the walls of the school and engage individuals and organizations from the community in project-based learning.
Presentation of the award occurred Thursday, May 10, 2012, during the REAL School Gardens’ REAL People Community-Building Event held at Holiday Heights Elementary School. The award was in recognition of the successful BRIT-developed Messy Science program which provided over 1,100 public school students the opportunity to interact with BRIT scientists and educators while experiencing an inquiry-based lesson about farming, soils, and the nature of science. This lesson was designed to support the Smart Potatoes program developed by the educators of REAL School Gardens in an effort to encourage children to grow their own food and give back to their communities.
Students in the Messy Science program are guided by scientists in making observations and predictions, assessing soil health for agriculture, designing potential investigations by asking their own questions, and discovering the importance of the plants their lives. In addition, they engage in inquiry through dialogue, journaling, and experiential learning while exposed to the field of botany.
“The creativity and learning elements designed into the Messy Science program is indicative of the talented and knowledgeable staff The BRIT SEED School employs,” says Dr. Amanda Stone Norton, director, The BRIT Seed School. “Messy Science complements and enhances the Smart Potatoes program by providing experiential learning, which oftentimes serves as a catalyst for knowledge-building and long-term subject interest in children.”
“The BRIT SEED School staff have given students at our partner schools a rich opportunity to become scientists, and they have demonstrated, for teachers, new ways to use their learning gardens as outdoor classrooms,” says Jeanne McCarty, executive director, REAL School Gardens. “We value BRIT’s knowledge and expertise, and we know our impact is deepened through collaborative efforts like this one.”