Reflection: Unit Planning CAPSTONE: Feeding 9 billion through sustainable farm design (2 of 3) - Section 3: PROTOTYPING: Constraints and Design


As with the Population CAPSTONE, in an ideal project based classroom environment students would pursue their own solution ideas. This was simply not a manageable strategy for my classroom. First, I would not be able to effectively support the range of student group needs over the course of this project.  Effective support is my ESSENTIAL role in this kind of work; if I cannot provide support, I need to change my strategy.  Going along with this, a second reason for the teacher-generated solution idea is that it allows me to curate a set of tools and resources that support a simple project idea.  Building the sustainability calculator so that it was easy to use for students took over an hour.  This is a fairly simple spreadsheet setup; however, students needed a number of design tweaks that I would not have time to make for multiple tools. Finally, the sustainable farm solution idea elegantly incorporates all the concepts and skills from this unit.  There are other solution ideas that would work well (and students were excited to pursue some of them after the IDEATE activity), but the sustainable farm idea flows seamlessly from the MODELING activity that was, by far, the lesson that most students engaged with deeply.

  Why a teacher-generated solution idea?
  Unit Planning: Why a teacher-generated solution idea?
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CAPSTONE: Feeding 9 billion through sustainable farm design (2 of 3)

Unit 5: Food (biosphere and geosphere)
Lesson 23 of 24

Objective: In addition to the objectives from part one, by the end of part two of the Food CAPSTONE experience, student will be able to 1) explain constraints impacting potential solutions to problems posed by the global food system and ideate solutions within these constraints and 2) design a prototype sustainable farm as a solution to specific problems posed by industrial agriculture and a growing human population.

Big Idea: The human population will approach 9 billion by 2050, but our current food system was not designed to sustainably feed so many. How might we apply our understanding of agricultural methods to feed 9 billion people in an environmentally sustainable manner?

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4 teachers like this lesson
Science, agriculture, engineering design thinking, farms, collaboration
  165 minutes
graphic feeding 9
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