On June 3, the Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) held a STEM event at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. for student members of the school’s STEM conservatory program.
Students took a farm tour and participated in hands-on research.
Dr. Kristine Nichols taught CCA students about fertilized soil versus soil full of microbes. She described for the students the problems with runoff when farmers don’t plant properly.
Hands-on activities the students participated in included soil sample processing, rainfall simulation, nitrates testing, phosphate testing, PH analysis, soil aggregation and microbial respiration.
Commonwealth Charter Academy is the state’s largest K-12 cyber charter school.
The Rodale Institute is a farm that has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and advocating for policies that support farmers. It’s the longest-running side-by-side U.S. study comparing conventional chemical agriculture with organic methods.