NGA Announces New Inquiry-based Science Curriculum

By National Gardening Association Editors

Contact: Rose Getch
National Gardening Association
(800) 538-7476, ext. 129
[email protected]

South Burlington, VT (July 24, 2007) - The National Gardening Association (NGA) is pleased to announce a new inquiry-based science curriculum - Growing Food - hot off the presses in time for the coming school year. Developed by educators at Teachers College Columbia University, it's one of the modules in the Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) Curriculum Series.

Using Growing Food, teachers and students embark on an exciting adventure: learning science through the study of our food production system. By investigating the question, "How does nature provide us with food?" students learn about the cycling of matter in nature, flow of energy, and food systems - all critical concepts in science. They explore and analyze of their personal food choices through scientific reasoning, and apply what they've learned through discussions and debates to personal decisions related to food systems, health, and the natural environment. A sixth-grade teacher who piloted Growing Food in his classroom says, "My students are thinking deeply about food system issues. They get excited every time we do the lessons."

The curriculum includes lesson plans, background information, teaching tips, and tools for assessment; student activity sheets and readings; and a matrix mapping the book to National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Grades 4-6, 256 pages.

Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE) is a collaboration of the Science Education and Nutrition Education programs at Teachers College Columbia University established in 1996 with the vision of promoting scientific habits of mind through thoughtful, inquiry-based activities that integrate the study of food, food systems, and environmental and personal health. The mission of all the LiFE modules is to increase scientific conceptual understandings in life science; improve attitudes towards science; improve attitudes towards personal health and nature; and promote behavior changes in relation to personal and ecological health. For more information about LiFE, please visit

Founded in 1972, the National Gardening Association is a national nonprofit leader in plant-based education, respected for its award-winning Web sites and newsletters, grants and curricula for youth gardens, and research for the lawn and garden industry. NGA's mission is to advance the personal, community, and educational benefits of gardening by supporting gardeners and teachers with information and resources. To learn more, please visit

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