In the Janyaa Nature Lab (JNL) program, children learn science, math & commerce concepts in relation to nature and apply them to their school gardens. They learn life skills, become environmentally aware, practice teamwork, learn budgeting/book keeping, and develop a taste for natural and healthy foods as a result of the program.
We successfully completed our pilot program in the Bay area, California, and are looking forward to scaling up in the USA
In Fall 2021, a group of enthusiastic high school volunteers in California, USA came forward to implement the Janaya Nature Lab Pilot program. The goal of this project is to ensure that the program works for students in the USA. The curriculum and experiments manuals for the program were adapted to fit the needs of youth in the USA. These youth ambassadors spent 12 weeks implementing the Math and Science experiments to build an optimal vegetable garden. They started by taking a small patch of land in one of their backyards and prepped the soil to ensure optimal growth for vegetables. The land was leased on rent from their parents. The youth volunteers received weekly training from the Janyaa USA Team for the experiments and tasks to be done in the garden. They grew winter vegetables like Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Radish and Parsley.
During the course of this pilot project, the youth volunteers got to learn many concepts of agricultural science by implementing hands-on experiments like Testing pH of the soil, making organic fertilizer, learning about soil composition and root structures, learning about transpiration in plants etc. In Math, they got to learn concepts of Simple interest, compound interest, Ratio’s, 3D shapes etc by doing hands-on experiments.
Janyaa partnered with Sewa International organization in Bay Area, California to implement the Nature Lab program. A group of 10 youth volunteers from Sewa formed a team and rented a community garden space in Pleasanton, California. In partnership with Janyaa, this team will be completing the 12 week Janyaa Nature Lab and will grow summer vegetables like Tomatoes, Peppers, Coriander, Cucumber, Squash and Beans.
During this period the youth volunteers will:
• Learn the importance of Biodiversity and Sustainability
• Impact of agriculture science in everyday life
• Learn to develop a connection between food and agriculture
• Learn about sustainable living, composting and water harvesting
• Learn about food systems, self-sufficiency, nutrition and safety
• Learn budgeting, expenses, accounting, and bookkeeping
TTWREIS Kothagudem – Navabharat 2019
Janyaa conducted the Janyaa Nature Lab (JNL) project in the Telangana Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TTWREIS) Girls High School in Kothagudem, Telangana, from October 2019 -March 2020.
A total of 240 girls from Grades 6th-9th received 36 hours of hands-on training on the “science of gardening” over the six-month period. 65 science and math concepts were taught by Janyaa Facilitators as part of weekly interactive training sessions. These concepts formed part of the Janyaa Nature Lab (JNL) Kit developed by Janyaa in partnership with Stanford professors, science and math experts, and government teachers. The girls were encouraged to maintain a Log Book to document their learning and observation.
From learning how to test the soil and cultivate land to calculating irregular shapes and simple and compound interest, the girls learnt how to apply science and math concepts to grow a vegetable garden. The harvested produce including seasonal vegetables like spinach, ladyfinger, brinjal, coriander etc. were sold by the girls to the local farm market at competitive prices as part of the JNL training.
The JNL learning proved invaluable to the program beneficiaries especially in the wake of the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic in March 20202 which has underscored the importance of healthy eating and growing one’s own produce to ensure health and wellness.