Building A Sustainability Curriculum for Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Project Theme(s): 
Campus Engagement
Grounds and Landscaping
Public Engagement

The Sarah P. Duke Gardens represent a unique educational opportunity for K-12 students to experience what they are taught in school. A field trip to the gardens provides a tangible and profound opportunity to augment the science and sustainability concepts K-12 students see in the classroom. The Duke Gardens educational programs wanted to expand upon the concepts of sustainability in their lesson plans. Promoting sustainability principles through the Duke Gardens positively impacts the Duke-Durham relationship. On a less tangible scale, the human race is entering a period where sustainability is crucial to the survival of our species, and indoctrinating children with an understanding of sustainability at an early age is a strong foundation for development.

Our main research question is how education staff at the Duke Gardens can best infuse concepts of sustainability in elementary school field trip programs. We have subdivided this research into three parts as the following.
1. What is the most effective way to integrate new sustainability principles in the pre-existing lesson plans?
2. What sustainability principles and concepts are highest priority to include in the training material for docents?
3. What aspects of sustainability will have the greatest tangible effects on students?

Sarah P Duke Gardens
Additional Information/Links:
Charlotte Clark
Tavey Capps
Project Team: 
Will Graham
LJ Castellano
Jamie Kim
Matheus Dias
K-12 Education
Campus Sustainability