Both of our units are blessed with the opportunity to grow vegetables for our Club members. From discussing seeds and germination to exploring new flavors and recipes, University of Missouri Extension Master Gardeners helps from beginning to end.
During a recent lesson at our O'Fallon Club, Master Gardeners encouraged kids to taste the difference in tomatoes of differing colors. The reactions were priceless!
Gardening is fun and it is a learning tool appropriate for children or adults of any age. Early childhood programs use gardens to provide multisensory learning experiences and to give children a strong foundation in basic STEM concepts. Elementary educators utilize gardens to expand on children's previous knowledge and to reinforce what members are learning in Club programs. Gardening also exposes children to science and other STEM disciplines at an earlier age, which increases the likelihood of them studying or working in a STEM-related field later in life.
Support from STEAM donors allows us to continue bringing the science of food to our members at both units.
We are thrilled to report that thanks to grant funding, donations, and corporate partnerships we recently added a new part-time STEAM Specialist position to support efforts at both our locations in St. Charles County. While we had an active STEAM program at our St. Charles Unit, we had not been able to fully implement programming at out O'Fallon location. Members will now have access to more STEAM opportunities with a special emphasis on our 6-7 year old age group. In addition, we are hosting two Summer Blast Camp weeks focused on STEAM. Members will participate in programs and activities, guest speakers will be at each unit to discuss STEAM careers, and members will visit the St. Louis Science Center. Grant funding makes so much possible for our children, and we are very grateful for the support.
This month, members have participated in activities focused on Black History Month. As part of this, we worked to incorporate this learning into a variety of platforms including Career Launch, STEAM, Youth for Unity, and Reading for Success. Members learned about Mae Jeminson, the first Black female astronaut. As part of this, they are discussed work completed by astronauts while in space and how they prepare to become astronauts. Members then created their own rockets and space stations using gears and blocks. Their creativity and problem-solving skills were reflected in their creations. Thanks to support from GlobalGiving, activities like this can be provided for members free of charge.
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