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Community Garden Pest Management Solutions

Hello, Double-O STEM Club agents! We need your special STEM skills for this important mission. Manny needs your help with a problem in his neighborhood.

Think about these questions as you watch the video. Write answers in your Double-O STEM Club notebook.

  1. What can’t Manny and his friends decide on?
  2. What news does Manny’s dad have?
  3. What does Manny’s dad want him to do? 
Image preview of a YouTube video

Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-GBGW

After students watch the video, click the activity links below to start this mission.
 
Getting Started
 

In this Community Garden Pest Management Solutions case, students will use library resources to complete the following tasks listed below. The learner version of the case can be found using this link.

  • Watch the case introduction video and identify the main character's problem.
  • Research pest management solutions and brainstorm solutions that might work for the community garden
  • Design and develop a prototype of their pest management solution(s).
  • Gather feedback throughout the process and incorporate as needed.
  • Reflect on the process, findings, successes, and failures of the prototypes.

Learners will need a place to take notes as they brainstorm and research solutions to the problem. Although questions are presented in the agent section of the online chapter, this course also includes a downloadable handbook for each case with brief activity descriptions, questions, thinking prompts, and white space for taking notes. This is presented as an "agent handbook," as learners are acting as new agents helping the main character with the mission/problem. Librarians may choose to download and print this handbook for learners or have them do it. Alternatively, librarians may decide to have learners type answers on a computer or provide learners with a folder in which to place the printouts or spiral notebook in which to write answers, sketch ideas, etc. 

The following link to the handbook is also available to students in their student version of this book.

Double-O STEM Club Agent Handbook: Community Garden Pest Management

For your convenience, the student version of each activity is located in the "Think," "Create," and "Share & Grow" sections of this book.

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.
  • The agent will determine parameters for what a successful solution to the problem entails in light of the contextual constraints.
  • The agent will use library databases and circulation materials to examine identified research questions.
  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will create a scale drawing of the urban community garden referred to in this case.
  • The agent will design and develop pest management solution prototypes based on identified problems.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.
  • The agent will identify benefits and limitations of their prototype using evaluation criteria.
  • The agent will revise prototypes based on evaluation feedback.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.A.2: Learners display curiosity and initiative by recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new meaning.
  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.
  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.
  • A.C.3: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes acting on feedback to improve. 
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Learning Activities

Think

This activity introduces the case and the charge to propose an urban garden plan for a vacant lot of 100 X 80 feet. Problems associated with the case involve creating a plan to maintain the garden. Secondary problems include determining how to clean up pollution, determining what to plant seasonally, helping the garden become self-sufficient, managing pests, and so forth. During this activity, Double-O STEM Club agents will identify main and secondary problems affecting the case and develop questions based on those problems for library research.

Materials

  • This case
  • Notebooks and writing instruments for each agent to document ideas and questions
  • Computer with LCD projector/television display
  • Tool to capture agent ideas (easel pad, whiteboard, computer)
  • Websites with examples of urban gardens

Setup

This activity includes whole-class and group discussion. Set up an area that allows the librarian to introduce the case and share examples via internet websites. Provide agents with notebooks and writing instruments and encourage them to capture ideas (through words and illustrations) as they work on this case. Allow agents to brainstorm problems associated with the case and questions that may require additional research. Capture main ideas on a whiteboard, easel pad, or other medium. Be sure to ask agents if there are aspects of other cases they have completed that might apply in this case.

Agent View

Activity 1: Discussion

Now that you have seen the video, work with other Double-O STEM Club agents to think about the problem and a solution. 

Guiding Questions:

  • What is the main problem?
  • What other problems did you notice?
  • What research questions need to be answered to help you design a solution?

     Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.

     Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering:

  • 3-5 ETS1-1 Engineering Design: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or want that includes criteria for success and constraints on time, cost, or materials.

     American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry:

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.A.2: Learners display curiosity and initiative by recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new meaning.

Although gardening can yield delicious fruits and vegetables, it can also attract unwanted pests (e.g., rabbits, rodents, bugs, fungus and mildew). Fortunately, gardeners have dealt with these pests for thousands of years and several techniques exist to reduce their effects on crop production. Individually or in small groups, Double-O STEM Club agents will leverage library materials, including the internet to research pest management practices. They should strive to locate practices that are environmentally friendly. Agents should summarize findings in their handbooks and be prepared to present and discuss with the group.

Materials

Setup

Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Focus the seating arrangement on the tool used to capture ideas.  

Agent View

Activity 2: Pest Management Research

Use library resources to answer your research questions. Talk with your fellow agents about the best places to search for your answers. We can’t risk mission failure with missing information, so be sure to take notes.

Guiding Questions:

  • What information do you need to help Manny?
  • Where should you find the information?
  • What search terms would help you find the best information?
  • How do you know your sources are good?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will identify three pests that harm garden plants/structures and techniques to manage/remove them.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.
  • The agent will use library databases and circulation materials to examine identified research questions.
  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will develop garden and pest management plans.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Based on library research, and/or group discussions, Double-0 STEM Club agents will determine the evaluation criteria used to examine pest management prototypes. A draft evaluation checklist or rubric should be developed to help agents know what they should strive to accomplish as they develop and test prototypes. Do not provide more than 8-12 criteria.

Materials

  • Tools to capture agent ideas and evaluation criteria (e.g., easel pad, computer with LCD projector)
  • Printer for paper-based criteria or online tool (e.g., MS Office 365, Google Forms)
  • Agent notebooks to document ideas

Setup

Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Focus the seating arrangement on the tool used to capture ideas.  

Activity 3: Prototype Evaluation Criteria

Now that you've researched pest management barriers, it’s time to think about how to measure the effectiveness of possible solutions. Brainstorm evaluation ideas that you might use to test prototypes. Discuss answers to the guiding questions in this section with other Double-O STEM Club agents. Remember to take notes.

Guiding Questions:

  • What environmental factors should you consider?
  • What design components should you consider (look, size, function, etc.)?
  • How might you evaluate the materials used (quality, durability, cost, etc.)?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will develop instruments to collect data regarding identified problems/solutions.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

  • 3-5 ETS1-1 Engineering Design: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or want that includes criteria for success and constraints on time, cost, or materials 

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.
  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.

As individuals or in small groups, have Double-O STEM Club agents create a scale drawing of the gardens, paths, compost areas, tool storage, and other areas in their 100 x 80 square-foot space. The drawing should include a corresponding key to indicate where gardening features (e.g., raised beds, pots, vertical planting, trellises) will be placed in the space. Agents should present their plans to other agents and incorporate feedback and additional ideas into future plans. 

Things to instruct agents to consider when creating their drawings include:

  • What garden beds will you use?
  • How will those spaces receive water and sunlight?
  • What garden structures might be useful to store and maintain tools, protect plants, and extend growing seasons (e.g., raised beds, green houses, storage sheds, plant cages)?

Present your plan to other agents and incorporate feedback and additional ideas into future plans. 

Materials

  • Urban garden examples (visual)
  • Engineering or graph paper or computer software for each agent
  • Writing instruments (e.g., pen, pencil)
  • Rulers, straight edges, protractors, compasses
  • Agent notebooks to record ideas
  • Tools to project agent work (e.g., document camera, smartphone camera, computer, LCD screen)

Setup

Focus the seating arrangement so agents have space to draw but can still see each other in classroom and small group discussions. Place writing instruments in a central location where agents can get them on an as-needed basis. However, this activity also includes small and whole-group discussion. Make sure the seating arrangement allows for whole and small group discussion.

Agent View

Activity 4: Garden Drawing

Create a scale drawing of the gardens, paths, compost areas, tool storage, and other areas in your 100 x 80 square-foot space. The drawing should include a key that indicates where gardening features (e.g., raised beds, pots, vertical planting, trellises) will be placed in the space. Share your plan with other agents and incorporate feedback and additional ideas into future plans. 

Guiding Questions:

  • What garden beds will you use?
  • How will those spaces receive water and sunlight?
  • What garden structures might be useful to store and maintain tools, protect plants, and extend growing seasons (e.g., raised beds, green houses, storage sheds, plant cages)?
  • How does pest management factor into your design?

Learning Objectives

  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will design an urban garden that covers a 100 X 80 foot space.
  • The agent will identify resources needed for optimal plant growth.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

  • 4-ESS3-2 Earth and Human Activity. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2 Engineering DesignGenerate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.
  • A.C.3: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes acting on feedback to improve. 
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Accordion body.

During this activity, Double-O STEM Club agents will use materials provided in the library to prototype pest management structures (e.g., fencing, screens, plant selection barriers, motion detectors) based on previously conducted library research. Agents will then present their prototypes (and their rationales for development) to the large group. 

Materials

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • String
  • Other prototype building materials accessible to librarians
  • Agent notebooks to document ideas and questions

Setup

Make sure agents will have access to computer resources for internet, database, and library catalogue research. Set up an area where whole and small groups can congregate. Use this area to introduce the activity, provide examples, brainstorm and consider criteria to examine, and develop and present findings.

Agent View

Activity 5: Pest Management Prototype

Time to start building! Based on prior research and using library-provided resources, create a model pest management structure for your garden. Have someone in your group write down the design decisions you make along the way. 

Guiding Questions:

  • Based on your research, how does your design solve the particular pest management issue?
  • As you test your designs, what do you notice?
  • What works well and what still needs improvement?
  • How might you modify your initial design to improve the structure and better meet your pest management needs?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will identify three pests that harm garden plants/structures and techniques to manage/remove them.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.
  • The agent will use library databases and circulation materials to examine identified research questions.
  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will develop garden and pest management plans.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

During this activity, Double-O STEM Club agents will receive feedback on their pest management prototypes (if they have not already done so during the design activity) and use that feedback to make revisions. Following revisions, they will continue to seek feedback and improve their prototype.

Materials

  • This case
  • Agent notebooks to document ideas and questions
  • Presentation tools (e.g., presentation software, easel pad, etc.)

Setup

This activity involves whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Prior to beginning this activity, set up at a table in a space that allows room for agents to display their prototypes for peer review; to discuss feedback and ideas among the group; and to refer to activity instructions and take notes in their handbooks. Agents should also have access to computers and the internet to perform further research as needed. As an option, agents or librarians may want to take photos of their prototypes for later reflection.

Agent View

Activity 6: Prototype Feedback

Share your ideas with other agents in your club and answer the guiding questions on the right. Examine the recommendations and decide what you can do to incorporate them into a new prototype. Be sure to write down your design decisions.

Guiding Questions:

  • How do your ideas compare with theirs?
  • What are three similarities?
  • What is one difference?
  • When sharing examples with others, we tend to receive a lot of feedback. Some of it is useful. Write down any comments that are mentioned by multiple people.
  • What positive feedback did you receive?
  • What recommendations for improvement did you receive?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will provide feedback on others' prototypes based on evaluation criteria.
  • The agent will receive feedback from others about their prototype.
  • The agent will identify areas for improvement based on feedback received.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

  • 4-ESS3-2 Earth and Human Activity: Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
  • 3-5-ETS1-3 Engineering Design: Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

    Near the end of this case, Double-O STEM Club agents will showcase their work (plans, composters, seedlings, data analyses). Agents will describe their proposed garden area and structures, the design decisions used to develop them, how testing and reflection improved their product, and how they would continue to perfect the model if given the opportunity. Presentations can be given live, video recorded and uploaded online, written and illustrated, or a combination of these approaches. Use this session to celebrate accomplishments and creative thinking.

    Materials

    • Copies of agent prototypes
    • Summarized feedback from evaluation criteria
    • Photographs and video captured from prior sessions
    • Agent notebooks to remember ideas
    • Presentation tools (e.g., easel pads, presentation software)
    • Celebration Materials (e.g., party noise makers, confetti, banners)
    • Computers for agents to develop presentations (as applicable)
    • LCD projector (as applicable) to project presentations

    Setup

    This activity includes individual and group discussion. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around group presentations. Make sure to decorate the presentation space with celebration materials. Provide agents with their notebooks, photographs and videos of prototypes and testing examples, summaries of evaluation criteria for their prototypes, and a copy of their best prototype. Also provide tools for groups to develop a short presentation about their work.

    Agent View

    Activity 7: Showcase and Reflection

    Great job, agents! I knew I could count on you to solve Manny's community garden pest management problem. Now it is time to share your designs. As a group, share your prototype (make a new one if yours was damaged during testing).

    Guiding Questions:

    • Why did you make the package the way you did?
    • How did you improve the design based on your testing?

    Learning Objectives

    • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
    • The agent will identify benefits and limitations of their prototype using evaluation criteria.

    Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

    American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

    • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.
    • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

    Celebration

    Excellent community garden pest management designs, agents! Watch the video below to wrap up this Double-O STEM Club mission.

    Image preview of a YouTube video

    Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-xAca