Norristown is an economically struggling borough, with 23% of the population below the poverty line. Some areas are considered food deserts by the USDA, & food insecurity is a major problem. In addition, the local Norristown Area School District reports low proficiency levels in math, science, and literature; 80.6% of students are economically disadvantaged. We are working closely with them, and the Director of Science, Technology & Engineering has identified hands-on science lessons as a need.
Our innovative educational attractions not only provide these needed hands-on science learning experiences, but they will also provide food for the community. For example, our mycology center will give students the opportunity to work with mushrooms and learn about fungi, biology, and plant science, while producing mushrooms that can be distributed or sold to the community.
Long-term impact includes increasing science proficiency levels for local struggling school districts. It also includes closing food deserts, eliminating food insecurity, and increasing healthy eating. According to a survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation, half of those polled believe that it is easier to do their taxes than to eat healthfully. We're studying barriers to healthy eating & developing innovative plans to make healthy eating easy and common.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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