By: Katie Sanders, FoodCorps service member
For the past few weeks at South Jackson Elementary School, the 5th grade students have been submerged in a large study of microorganisms and their role in our garden space. We started the discussion with the importance of having a balanced ecosystem of microorganisms inside our guts and how that keeps us healthy. Together we learned about foods that are probiotic, meaning that they help to increase the amount of microbes in our guts. We even discussed pre-biotics, or those foods that help to feed our existing gut microbes, and how we can incorporate more pre and probiotic items into our diet. The students then applied this knowledge to the equally important need of having balance in our soil microbial community.
To showcase their new knowledge, the students created advertisements on why farmers and gardeners should want to add more microorganisms to their soil. The students were given few instructions to allow their creativity to blossom and the results were awesome!
The top 5 advertisements from each grade were chosen by a soil scientist at a local university and the final decision will be made by another expert in the field.
It was very impressive to see 5th graders discussing biodiversity and microbial interactions and demonstrating that knowledge in such a persuasive manner!