TapRoots: “Hands-on ecology fun for middle schoolers”

Taproots began as an experimental program at Greenbelt Middle School (GMS) in January 2011 with the purpose of investigating the benefits of a specialized curriculum that focuses on critical thinking, hands-on interactivity and scientific inquiry.

TapRoots centers its curriculum on agroecology, and strategically utilizes the physical environment to stimulate student interest and comprehension. At the conclusion of the initial project period, spanning from January through June 2011, project leaders and project partners determined that the pilot curriculum had been successful and decided to revamp and expand for next year.

The curriculum is divided up into 12 workshops, which occur every other week. Each workshop generally consists of 30 minutes of lecture material and 45 minutes dedicated to lab exercises, which will be conducted in the classroom or in the garden. All workshops have been reviewed by a Prince Georges County Public School liaison to ensure that the workshops complement the state’s curriculum.