Teaching IPM: From Field to Classroom 2007
Project Leaders: J. Grant, L Braband, D. Marvin, ; C. Klass, Dept. of Entomology, Cornell University; J. Gruttadaurio, , Sports Turf Managers of New York
Abstract: The New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program discovers ways to create a healthier environment and shares this knowledge with New Yorkers, the nation, and the world. We focus on decreasing the risks that are posed by pests and pesticides on farms and in homes, schools, and other public settings. We deliver positive environmental messages to communities through quality educational products. We also have a long history of teaching professional pest managers—on farms, in schools and in private businesses—how to deal with environmental challenges in the least-toxic and most effective manner.
Children are especially vulnerable to risks posed by pests and pesticides, and educating these future generations is the key to long-term solutions. Therefore, we embarked on a project to share our knowledge of IPM with staff and students in the Ithaca School District and surrounding region through a project called Teaching IPM: from Field to Classroom. The project combined our expertise in training school buildings and grounds staff on effective IPM practices with a special curriculum targeted to elementary school children. So kids learned about what IPM is, in schools where IPM is being practiced. Not only did they learn in an environment with fewer risks, they also actively participated in the science of IPM by pursuing activities such as inspecting their school grounds for pests, and investigating the biology and behavior of insects that can infest their buildings and grounds. Students learned to minimize pest problems through everyday activities such as ridding classrooms of food debris and selecting the right plants for the right places outdoors.