Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
TGS students took the initiative while at PTIS to explore the campus farm and develop their own pre-CAS activities related to farm improvements. Utilizing elements of science, experience gained from Me to We, their own ingenuity, our students created various teams each dedicated to a different project on farm improvement, all while closely working with Chrissie Bleach, the Farm Coordinator for PTIS.
Not only was it an excellent training opportunity for CAS and their future IB course in Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS), it was a great exercise in project management.
Due to time constraints regarding funding approval at the farm, not all projects were brought to fruition, but TGS has donated a collection of projects that PTIS can choose to carry out after we leave. Chrissie has assured us that any such work will be credited to our students, and we will be sent photographic records as those projects develop.
Here are excerpts from some of the students farm proposals:
We want to measure the water quality and come up with a plan to solve the water’s issues. A possible solution that we can do in time would be to grow algae that will naturally filter waste. Water is a big part of the farm. With better water, plants can grow better and be organic. The animals will get clean water instead of accidentally eating bad bacteria.
To test the water quality, we will make traps by cutting a water bottle and inverting the neck into the body, securing it together with paper clips and removing the bottle cap. After a few days, the insects collected can be evaluated with a dichotomous key, and this information will show evidence of the water quality.
– Pema and Charis, Class of 2014
You could set up a plaque at the beginning of the entrance with general facts about bugs, the eco-systems they belong to, and which ones are actually found on the farm right then and there. Add more facts at different stations periodically as an on-looker goes deeper in to the garden.
There could be a small course about insects for little kids. We could let them empty the traps, in order to show them all living things must go on with their jobs in the circle of life. They could also help plant more traps of different kinds or do research. It could really grow within the school.
– A’ntonia, Class of 2014
Pesticides: With the problem of Aphids, June beetles, and fungus diseases, a solution could be rhubarb spray, which is made by steeping six rhubarb leaves in 2.3 – 3.4 liters of boiling water.
Fertilizers: Rose Fertilizer made of 2 tablespoons Mermaid’s fish fertilizer (powdered fish), 1 teaspoon Maxicrop kelp extract (powdered seaweed), 1 tablespoon Epsom salts, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 3 cups water.
– Hannah, Class of 2015, Willem, Class of 2014
Trail leading from farm entrance to “sala”, expanding in chosen locations afterwards. Along the trail there should be stops, so it is interactive for visiting students. A fun worksheet could be made along with the trail signs, so the students can have something that keeps them focused. Each sign can have a letter, and after they visit all of the signs, the letters will spell out a secret message.
– Isaac and Rebecca, Class of 2015, Bailey and Emma, Class of 2014
We want to make biogas out of the cafeteria waste now given to the pigs. It will make the pigs healthier, and they can be used as working pigs for farming and to help the employees. It can also bring money to the farm by selling the biogas. It is also an opportunity to educate kids about biogas and how compost is made and utilized. The waste can be used as fertilizer for the plants.
– Maya and Gawa, Class of 2015
Since the farmers are essentially the caretakers of the farm, the future of the farm is in their hands. Farm sustainability is impossible unless the farmers know how to keep the farm sustainable. With all of the changes going into the farm, the farmers need to know what is going on, and they need their voices to be heard. Our educational project is to inform them on the way to care for the new features of the farm that my fellow students have put in place.
– Yuan Yuan, Class of 2015