The importance of nutrition and STEM education doesn’t stop after elementary school and neither does GrowingGreat!
Since 2015, our GrowingGreat Chefs program has reached teenagers in Downey, Los Angeles, Inglewood and Lawndale. GrowingGreat empowers our teen cooks to make healthy choices and explore math and science in the kitchen through hands-on cooking classes. In addition to cooking with ingredients harvested from their school gardens, GrowingGreat teen chefs also author and publish cookbooks and explore how the food we eat plays an important role in culture and identity. Teens establish program goals themselves, with support from GrowingGreat, and young adults with special needs are also included in decision making.
At Environmental Charter Middle School – Inglewood, GrowingGreat leads two environmental education programs. The first, Planting Seeds for Tomorrow’s Leaders, is a program that encourages teen leadership through career mentorship, field trips and hands-on project-based learning in the garden. The second program, Compost to Ozone, empowers teens to take a leadership role and develop experimental design skills through Citizen Science projects.
At Immaculate Conception School in Downtown Los Angeles, 6th-8th grade students lead micro-farm operations including amending soil, planting seasonal crops, harvesting and cooking the fruits of their labors.
At the Environmental Career Academy at Leuzinger High School, students integrate mathematics, science and problem solving skills into a hands-on garden setting. Students explore intersectional concepts including symbiotic plant and human cycles, climate change and the historical context of agricultural practices. Students also lead the maintenance of the school gardens and orchards and explore agribusiness by selling the fruits, vegetables and herbs from their garden at their on-campus farmstand.
GrowingGreat Teen programs incorporate STEM and nutrition concepts into an inquiry-based format that challenges and inspires future leaders and innovators.