The prime objective of the Green House Venture is to enhance STEM education for students in urban elementary schools, with a special emphasis on those who are underserved. Though focused on St. Louis, the Venture has from the beginning been designed as a replicable model for similar educational projects elsewhere on a regional, national, and even international scale.

Our aim is not to replace education carried out by classroom science teachers but to supplement it. All our activities are hands-on, designed to attract young students to do science and, more importantly, to experience what it is to be scientists.

From our founding in 2015 to the present, our educational strategy has centered on five main programs, listed below. We have piloted the first two successfully on a neighborhood scale. The last three are plans for future development when our Education Center has been constructed.

Summer Adventure Camp. A three-week program in collaboration with Tower Grove Park (for educational experiences in nature) and with Saint Louis University (for lessons in growing and cooking healthy food).

After-school programs. Our successful pilot, called the Ambassadors Program, brings together small teams of students in grades 4-6 from four partner schools in the Urban Education Alliance. The teams meet once a week to carry out experiments, take field trips, and prepare end-of-term presentations for their families, teachers, and friends.

Classroom initiatives. The aim is to offer teachers opportunities to conduct eight-week growing experiments in computer-controlled growing chambers invented and supplied by the Venture.

For overworked teachers on tight budgets, such support is necessary for students to have hands-on experiences as experimentalists.

Encounters with our Education Center. This innovative facility will offer a wide range of experiences, beginning with class sessions in science and urban agriculture for our partner-schools in the Urban Education Alliance. The center also will be available to to classes from other schools throughout the St. Louis region, visiting us as they go on field trips to the Botanical Garden, the Zoo, Tower Grove Park, and other nearby destinations.

Content streamed on the Internet. Lessons and experiments successfully piloted in Ambassadors After-School Program will be made available on the Wild Wide Web for any teacher who wishes to draw on them.

As we branch out into further areas of science and new educational projects, we plan to invite school and university professionals to contribute ideas and advice. We also hope to fund graphic designers to make our videos a creative force in science education.

Through these foundation programs and others yet to come, our work will continue to provide students with opportunities throughout their middle-school years and beyond.

In these ways, we intend to contribute to workforce development that leads to more students pursuing careers so vital to local institutions and corporations that make St. Louis the leading center for research in bio-science and agriculture in the nation.