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October 11, 2011 > Social Justice and A.P. Statistics students tackle food deserts

Social Justice and A.P. Statistics students tackle food deserts

Submitted By Belinda M. Sandoval

Eighty students from two disciplines - a religious studies and an A.P. Statistics class - put their hands in the dirt. These students from Moreau Catholic High School (MCHS), Hayward, conducted online research, developed interactive maps, attended an expert panel and blogged with their peers about the intersection of poverty, nutrition and the issue of access to healthy food in low-income communities. MCHS sent these students on a multi-destination field trip through Hayward, San Leandro and West Oakland to visit school and urban gardens.

This project is the joint venture of theology teacher, Amy Armstrong, and statistics instructor, Barb Mangiardi, who began developing the inter-disciplinary, challenge-based learning unit last year. Even before the field trip, both Armstrong and Mangiardi were aware of the power of inter-disciplinary curriculum paired with real-world challenges.

"The Statistics students are actually eager to conduct statistical analysis on this issue," said Mangiardi.

"They're emotionally invested in the learning and that's what inter-disciplinary and challenge-based learning is all about," Armstrong added.

All students had a youth-led tour and vegetable tasting at Tennyson High School's Project EAT. They divided into two groups and visited either the Dig Deep Farms, a project through Alameda County Sheriff's Activity League, or the Mandela Marketplace, a West Oakland umbrella organization that includes the West Oakland Youth Standing Empowered (WYSE) and the Mandela Marketplace Co-operative Food and Grocery.

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