DDC offers agricology program for school
The American University in Cairo’s (AUC) Desert Development Center (DDC), in partnership with the new educational institute mini Academs, is providing environmental, ecological and plant sciences education to school children aged 6 - 14.
“Environmental education is immensely important for Egypt’s future, and you can’t start early enough,” says Tina Jaskolski, research coordinator at the DDC.
A team of DDC instructors has designed a curriculum that combines environmental knowledge and teaching about the importance of nature conservation and recycling with practical, hands-on training in agricultural skills such as planting, harvesting and making compost. The agricology program, which is held in both English and German, runs every Saturday at AUC New Cairo and comprises four different levels, from pre-basic to advanced.
“We are trying to teach environmental skills in playful ways,” said Andrew Petrovich, research associate at the DDC and a teacher in the children’s program. “The main characters of our program are Carrie the Carrot and Larry the Lemon.”
Starting from the basic level, the six-week courses include an overnight trip to the DDC Research Station in South Tahrir, where the children can milk cows, practice orienteering skills in the forest and learn how to graft trees. “In order to nurture an appreciation for nature in young people, kids have to come into direct contact with the environment and experience it,” noted Jaskolski. “Our AUC campus facilities and the DDC farm offer perfect opportunities for that.”
The Desert Development Center (DDC) was established in 1979 by the American University in Cairo as a center of excellence in applied research and training to promote sustainable development in Egypt’s reclaimed desert areas. The DDC maintains an extensive program of research, training, and informational activities to meet its objectives increasing the productivity and incomes of desert settlers while conserving and enhancing the natural resource base of the desert environment. In addition to working directly with communities, the DDC operates two research stations on desert land where experiments are conducted, technologies are evaluated, and demonstrations are maintained.
American University of Cairo
Founded in 1919, AUC is a leading English-language, American-accredited institution of higher education and center of intellectual, social and cultural life of the Arab world. Its community of students, parents, faculty and staff, trustees, alumni and other generous sponsors represent more than 60 countries. The University stands as a crossroads for the world’s cultures and a vibrant forum for reasoned argument, spirited debate and understanding across the diversity of languages, facilities and human experiences.
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