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Teaching permaculture to kids

Brad Davies
Posts: 213
Location: Clarkston, MI
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Hi Everyone,

I used to post her pretty frequently, but it seems that the more projects I have taken on the less time I have for frequenting my favorite permaculture forums, not just with permies but pretty much across the board.

Anyway, I wanted to stop in and share a cool project that I am working on. The elevator version is, I'm a middle school teacher at a public school in the Detroit metro area, I was given an entirely new class with a pretty open curriculum and decided that I was going to teach the kids permaculture.

To do this I created a project that I titled, "The Settlement Design Project". The context of the project is for the students, ages 11 - 14, to design their own sustainable settlement using permaculture as their design system, and Sketchup to show and share their designs. I've taught this lesson to over 150 students over the past couple of semesters , and have gotten the process pretty streamlined at this point. The students select a location from google Earth, research the area, use Sketchup to create a 3D scale model of their settlement, then turn this model into a video presentation. I've found that it has been very easy to expand or contract the depth of this project and include other subjects based on the students interests and aptitude. Example, adding in a social studies component to research the cultures that have developed in the area they select. Using the scale Sketchup model and doing some math to "prove" how many people their settlement would support based on, available water, food system, energy systems, etc..

After hearing that I must share this from my upteenth permaculture friend I decided to give it a go and record everything to make it available to the people of the internet. But using my old PC for video screen captures and smart phone for recording instruction turned out to be a fail.

So I setup a kickstarter to see if I could raise some funds to get some proper recording equipment, and a computer that will actually be able to handle HQ video files. If this seems like something that you would like to support or share it would be much appreciated. All comments and questions welcome!

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

Brad Davies

I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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