Education: Math in the Garden




Math in the Garden

Math in the Garden uses a mathematical lens to explore the magical arena of gardens. Colorful watercolor illustrations depict children, youth and adults discovering patterns, measuring crops, tasting new fruits and vegetables, planting in circles, and graphing their observations of fruits, flowers and shadows.

The University of California Botanical Garden, in collaboration with the Lawrence Hall of Science, has developed engaging math activities that anyone can do. No mathematics expertise is needed to lead the activities, only a desire to discover the out of doors with children. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation in 1999, and supported in part by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. After-school youth leaders and educators from botanical gardens, garden clubs, 4-H programs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, home-schooling groups, and classroom teachers have taught the investigations and contributed their insights.

Designed to promote inquiry, language arts and nutrition, the activities are grouped by the predominant mathematics strands and support the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principals and Standards of School Mathematics and the National Academy of Sciences National Standards for Science Education.

Each delightfully illustrated investigation has an easy-to-follow format and can be completed within an hour. The inexpensive equipment and materials necessary for the activities can be found in most homes and garden programs. See how easy it is to excite your kids about Math (and encourage good nutrition) using Math in the Garden at your home or school. Click here to view sample pages and activities from the book.

The National Gardening Association has published Math in the Garden, and is showcasing the book in their January 2006 catalogue. You will soon be able to purchase your copy at our Garden Shop ($29.95), which is the best way to support the Garden's educational and horticultural efforts. If you like, you can order a copy at the National Gardening Association's online store.

To preview this wonderful resource for your family, youth organization or school, click here to view sample pages and activities from the book.

We hope you enjoy your adventures using Math in the Garden.

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