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US: Why urban farming captivates K-12 students

Urban farming, traditionally seen as a method to combat food deserts and promote sustainability in city landscapes, has rooted itself within a novel environment: the educational sector. This integration of agriculture into daily learning activities is not merely about planting seeds but about sowing the fundamentals of science, responsibility, and teamwork among young learners.

The Growing Trend
Urban farming within educational settings has seen a significant upswing in recent years. Schools across the globe are increasingly turning to agriculture as a dynamic teaching tool that offers students a unique perspective on where food comes from and how sustainable practices can be integrated into daily life. A study published in the "Journal of Environmental Education" Full article: Agricultural and environmental education: a call for meaningful collaboration in a U.S. context ( highlights that integrating gardening and farming into school curriculums significantly boosts students' understanding of natural systems and food production processes.

Quantitative Growth and Academic Interest
The practical application of urban farming is vividly demonstrated in various projects across schools in North America. The proliferation of school-based farming programs is supported by more than anecdotal evidence. Data collected from Freight Farms users shows a marked increase in student interest in STEM fields following the installation of farms on campus. Teachers report greater student engagement and enhanced understanding of complex scientific concepts through hands-on learning.

Enhancing STEM Education Through Practical Application
Urban farming in schools does more than just teach children how to plant and care for vegetables; it enriches STEM education by providing real-world applications for theoretical concepts. For instance, students can observe plant biology in action, calculate growth rates, and even explore genetic engineering topics through selective breeding practices. A study from the "American Journal of Agricultural Education" underscores how students engaged in school farming projects exhibit improved problem-solving and analytical skills directly applicable to STEM subjects. (PDF) Active Learning Increases Student Performance in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics (

Social and Emotional Learning
Beyond academics, urban farming contributes significantly to social and emotional learning (SEL). Activities that involve caring for plants teach responsibility, promote empathy, and build teamwork skills. These gardens become places where students can experience the satisfaction of nurturing life and witness the tangible results of their dedication and care. The communal aspect of managing a school garden also helps in building a sense of community and cooperation among students.

For more information:
Freight Farms
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