Our high school serves a population of students that is as diverse as any. We have many previously disengaged "at-promise" students who have become engaged here at this institution. They are residents here and also work on vocational studies and certifications such as electrical, plumbing, nursing, and welding. Our school provides a highly personalize and individualized diplomacy program where students work in independent and small group settings. We also have a large international population where we serve refugees from Congo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burma, Malaysia, and Nepal. I provide a high touch science program where students have the opportunity to be engaged in robotics, hydroponics, DNA fingerprinting and PCR analyses, anatomical comparisons (dissection), microscopy, drone projects, and many more. Although many of our students were not as successful as they could have been in the past due to a multitude of factors, they are successful when they finish with our school.
The medicinal benefits of mushrooms have long been touted among native peoples and mycologists, and there has been a growing body of scientific research targeting antioxidants in mushrooms to treat a variety of conditions (Alzheimer's, cancer, aging etc). This investigation will provide students the opportunity to grow different varieties of mushrooms and require students to read published research on medicinal effects of specific chemicals in mushrooms. This activity will be after our hydroponics investigation and greenhouse exploration, and it will provide a smooth segue from Kingdom Plantae into Kingdom Fungi.
The donations will be used to purchase six different mushroom growing kits and a mushroom cultivation guide for groups of students to investigate.
Data will be collected and communicated through scientific reporting at the conclusion of the exploration. This multi-modal lesson will hopefully not only provide rare exposure to the world of mycology (especially in a high school), but also emphasize literacy and proper scientific investigation practices.
Thank you for reading our proposal and for your generosity. Our students thank you and are excited to start exploring the wonders of mycology and it's "newly" found medicinal effects. It's educational opportunities like these that breeds advanced learners and real information seekers.
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