The Learning Garden: Outdoor Classrooms to End Nature-Deficit Disorder

“Learning Gardens contribute to healthier, happier and smarter kids”Pacific Domes, Inc.

For parents raising families in this device-driven digital age, persuading your kids to spend time outdoors can prove challenging. Oftentimes, simple solutions prove to be the best solutions. An outdoor classroom Learning Garden introduces simple solutions to get kids to love spending more time outdoors – thus, encouraging kids to develop their innate human naturalist intelligence .

Science Works Greenhouse Dome
Middle School students take part in forrest restoration at this tree nursery in a 36′ shade dome

The latest research supports that time spend in Nature improves academic performance and boosts physical and psychological health. An outdoor classroom balances the trend toward increased reliance on indoor digital technology with the Nature-enhanced coherence of the real world. Case in point – outdoor classrooms may be one of the most efficient and cost-effective approaches to improve test scores and support student participation, too.

The Big Green Learning Garden

“Our results speak for themselves —98% of teachers agree that Learning Gardens increase their students’ knowledge of healthy foods; and, 93% tell us that their students participate more in the Learning Garden, than they do in the classroom.”Kimbal Musk, Co-founder & CEO of Big Green

Big Green Learning Garden“Learning Gardens are outdoor classrooms, engaging learning environments where kids learn about math, science, entrepreneurship, and above all else, real food.”Kimbal Musk, Co-founder & CEO of Big Green

The Big Green Learning Garden has been transforming urban schoolyards in U.S. cities since 2011. Part-playground, part-outdoor-classroom, Learning Gardens serve as spaces where students learn about the science of growing fruits, veggies and, so much more.

Learning Gardens are customizable for the reason that each school and community is unique. Specifically designed for individual outdoor classroom schoolyards, they provide vibrant gathering places, bursting with life, while helping kids rediscover their innate connection to Nature.

What Exactly is Nature Deficit Disorder?

According to Richard Louv, who coined the term in his best-selling book, “Last Child in the Woods… Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder”, the best definition came from a 4th grader in San Diego, “I like to play indoors, ‘cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”  Richard Louv, also, coined the term “Nature Smart”, that sparked a global movement.

Here’s what this visionary author had to say…

“The future will belong to the Nature-Smart ― those individuals, families, businesses and political leaders, who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world; and, who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”  Richard Louv

The Nature Smart Education Dome

The American Institute of Architects calls the geodesic dome “the strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space known to man.” Nature’s perfect structure, futuristic-looking geodesic domes have heralded a new day in green-building architecture with their ability to withstand Nature’s extremes – such as, heavy snow loads, hurricane force winds, tornadoes and earthquakes.

The open floor plan and vaulted ceilings of a Nature Smart Education Dome provides a warm sunlit learning environment. Dome features and sizes have versatile uses to serve multiple outdoor classroom functions.

Coyote Trails Dome - Pacific Domes
Preschool Education at Coyote Trails School of Nature

Uses for Nature Smart Education Domes 
There are many innovative uses for portable, freestanding domes. Here’s just a few ways that Pacific Domes prefab domes are being used:

•  Outdoor Camps & Learning Programs     •  Pre-Schools & Schools     •  Nature Centers


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