URBAN AGRICULTURE AND BEHAVIORAL DISABILITIES: JUST IMAGINE THE GROWTH
With support from RET and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; one teacher from an urban setting and one teacher from a rural setting collaborated with Dr. Shangping Xu of the Geosciences department to contribute to pioneering research to quantify the effects of biochar amendments on the leaching of nutrient species. In their research, waste-sourced biochars reduced the mass of phosphate leaching by 38-40% and also reduced the initial rate of nitrate leaching.
Darwin Peters, in the urban setting, teaches students with emotional behavioral disabilities in a high performing, high needs school. Working with students who are greatly-overlooked and left behind due to their behavioral challenges, Peters collaborated with the RET faculty advisors and mentor Michele Huppert to design project-based curriculum that tapped into a growing interest among his students and their communities: urban agriculture. Through investigations on water quality and soil fertility, there are great increases in student engagement that can lead to promising learning outcomes. With continued collaboration within the RET framework, local universities and high schools are finally acting as the neighbors they are; nurturing the symbiotic relationships that are helping to drive the next generation of untapped geoscientists in overlooked communities.