The summer is usually a time for rest and relaxation but for 4-H Agri-Science in the City at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy it is a time for great excitement and enthusiasm. As the 3rd week of the Rothenberg Preparatory Academy Summer Program at Cincinnati Public Schools comes to a close we are working with students to develop presentations on what they have learned as is relates to food issues on 4 of the 7 continents.
Students have expressed interest in the food people eat around the world but also the issues people face. For our students studying South America, the rain forest has been a major focus. The students have delved into the topic coming up with solutions to deforestation and the connection of the rain forest to the vitality of the food system in their region. Students studying South America have learned about the need for more farm land on their continent but also the challenges that increased farm land brings to an environment. Consequently, students have started to reflect on their past experiences with 4-H Agri-Science in the City at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy and are beginning to look for innovative solutions to food issues, like aquaponics.
The students studying European countries have been working diligently to address the economic and impending food crisis as a result of the refugee crisis in Europe. Students have learned about the conflict in Syria and how refugees are migrating to Europe to seek safety and freedom. The students have been trying to wrap their heads around how to feed the growing population and have come up with a number of economic solutions including job creation and tax incentives.
Students studying Africa have been particularly excited to learn about the diversity of the culture and their food system but were shocked to learn about the infrastructure programs that plague some African communities. Students have grown very concerned for the water system in Africa and the water system in their own communities here in the USA. Students have also grown concerned about international aide and what kinds of food are provided to people in the African countries. The students have studied sugar content, daily caloric intake and the importance of water to human bodies. As students have identified solutions to problems they have engaged in debates that are much more complex than they realized. Some students have started moving toward taking action in a very mature way. A few students have started to save money so that they can help meet their own needs today with the intention of affecting change in African countries tomorrow.
Finally, our youngest students have been studying North America. Consequently these young students have been excited to learn about aquatic life and fish as a source of beauty and necessity to the North American diet and economy. Students have learned fish structures but also what fish are native to different areas and the dangers of over fishing. Students learned about innovation in the management of fish and the concerns that come with management of marine life.
As a whole the 4-H Agri-Science in the City program has proved to be meaningful to a greater breadth of students that ever before. The 50 students served through the Rothenberg Preparatory Academy Summer School program will surely grow to be compassionate and concerned adults. Only time will tell what kinds of impacts these students will make but, they have a tremendous capacity to create a better tomorrow and we are all excited to see where their future take them.
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