Archive for August 16th, 2013

August 16, 2013

From the Ground Up! Urban gardening & communication program opportunity

by Melissa Harding

phipps high school outreach underserved science education

Attention high school students interested in food, farming, and cross-cultural communication!  We have a new program–“From the Ground Up”–in which 15 teenagers will participate in a series of monthly Saturday morning workshops from September 2013 through June 2014.  The workshops, focusing on cooking, urban gardening, and the cultural aspects of food, will also be documented through photography and video by the students themselves and shared with teenagers participating in a parallel program in Kano, Nigeria. To be eligible for this program, students should be between the ages of 15 and 18 and must qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch program. Students will also receive a stipend for participating!

If you or someone you know is interested , contact Kate Borger, High School Program Coordinator, Phipps Science Education and Research Department, for more information: or 412-622-6915, ext. 3905.

Applications can also be downloaded here. DEADLINE to apply: September 3, 2013.

The above photo was taken by Kate Borger.

August 16, 2013

Summer Camp Recap: Cooking with Characters

by Melissa Harding


Summer Camp Recap is our Friday seasonal segment featuring our summer camp programs. This is the place for camp parents to find pictures of their campers in action and see all the fun things we did all week. It’s also a great place for educators to pick up craft, story and lesson ideas for their own early childhood programs!

This week was another single week of camp and a very exciting one at that! Our campers planted, harvested, chopped, cooked and ate their way through the week with the help of some special friends. Cooking with Characters is a cooking-based camp for campers 4-5 years of age; this camp features recipes from some of children’s favorite books and movies, along with stories, songs and games!

Day one featured Remy the rat from the movie Ratatouille; Remy is a rat who loves to cook, even though he isn’t allowed in the kitchen of a real restaurant. Campers made their own ratatouille from tomatoes, onions, pepper and zucchini. They harvested recipe ingredients from our Edible Garden, including some herbs to flavor the pot. Campers explored different textures of plants, following a recipe and kitchen safety. They also learned that is important to try everything once before deciding that you don’t like something.


Day two was all about tea parties. Alice in Wonderland, as well as some other storybook friends, helped our campers learn what plants need to grow and how some plants are specially adapted to grow in different ways. Campers made tea sandwiches and pickles with cucumbers, as well as herb tea, to have at their very own tea party. They learned about plants with tendrils, vining plants, and other plants that grow towards the sun.

Day three was a pizza party! Campers were joined by Curious George and read about his antics at a pizza party; poor George only wants to help, but is just too curious to stay out of trouble! Campers made their own healthy pizzas topped by herbs and sautéed veggies from the garden. They learned all about seeds and how they grow. They also planted their own “pizza” gardens with basil, parsley and tomatoes to take home with them. Campers learned that being curious doesn’t have to lead to trouble; they used their senses to observe the plants in the garden and ask questions, just like Curious George.


Day four was all about bugs! Campers loved eating bugs with Timon and Pumba from The Lion King. Campers learned that some bugs are pollinators, which help us to get the veggies that we eat every day. They made “bug” snacks out of yummy fruit – fruit parfaits and strawberry “ladybugs”. Campers looked for bugs on the CSL green roof and even read some funny bug stories; they learned that we need all kinds of bugs to keep our ecosystems healthy.

The last day of camp was a special day – campers created a special meal for their grown-ups with the help of Strega Nona and her magic pasta pot.  Campers made pasta from scratch to serve their families and decorated placemats. They also learned about composting and worms; campers investigated the worms from our compost bin and learned that without worms, there would be no new plants to grow! They also looked for decomposers in the soil around the Conservatory, observing pill bugs, millipedes, ants and worms.

Check out the slideshow below for more great pictures!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For more images from the week, visit our Flickr page.

The above pictures were taken by Hanna Mosca and Christie Lawry.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 199 other followers

%d bloggers like this: