Online lesson package on soil and food developed by students


Students of the Feeding Our Planet minor at VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL) (HVHL) have developed an online lesson package on soil and food. This lesson package is intended for Frisian secondary school pupils at the HAVO level. This lesson package presumes that our current food system has a negative impact on the environment in several ways. It is therefore important to make the current food system more sustainable. Thanks to this lesson package, young people learn about how food is grown and what impact the food system has on the environment.

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Students of the Feeding our Planet minor walk in the meadow for a soil measurement

Van bodem tot (school)bord

The developed lesson package can be found on the Van Bodem tot (School)bord (Dutch) website. Here, pupils can work independently or in class. It includes several components:

  • A project that can be done in groups.
  • Theory examining the different components of the food cycle.
  • Assignments and experiments with this theory.
  • A final quiz to test the acquired knowledge.

There is also a manual for lecturers containing more information about the package and its implementation. It also contains various teaching tips.

Sharing knowledge about sustainable food systems

Van Bodem tot (School)bord has a positive influence on secondary school students in several ways. If they understand more about the food cycle, they will look at food in different ways and can make more conscious choices. The students will also understand what is required to grow (sustainable) food. It begins at the foundation of the cycle: the soil. To be able to grow food in a sustainable way, it is important that the soil has good soil structure and that a diverse range of soil life can be found. The use of heavy agricultural machinery, pesticides, the dewatering of the soil and monoculture food production is well studied in its degradation of the soil structure and diversity. By draining the peat meadows of Friesland, the peat becomes oxidized and CO2 is emitted in this process.

Feeding our Planet minor

The project was part of the Feeding our Planet minor (Dutch) at HVHL in Leeuwarden. This minor is about food transitions and revolves around the following question: how can you contribute to a sustainable food supply from your field of expertise? During this minor, students from various programmes set to work on this question. In addition to lessons both at school and online, many excursions were also organised. During the minor, students work on both an individual assignment and a team assignment, of which the lesson package Van Bodem tot (School)bord is a good example.

Please contact Korrie Hoekstra at [email protected] for more information or to request a password for (Dutch) lecturers.

Students doing soil measurements