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AWR Competitions
AWR Competitions

This Preschool is Designed to Teach Kids to Farm Their Own Food

AWR Competitions
AWR Competitions

It's never too early to start teaching kids where their food comes from. That's the thought process behind a number of programs around the country that allow students to grow and harvest their own produce. But a new concept, from Italian designers Gabriele Capobianco, Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta, Jonathan Lazar, and Davide Troiani envisions an entire preschool built around sustainable farming, Inhabitat reports.

The proposal, titled "Nursery Fields Forever," was recently awarded first prize at this year's AWR International Ideas Competition. Instead of classrooms, the school would feature open spaces where vegetables could be cultivated and animals could roam freely. The buildings would be surrounded by livestock pens and garden plots, where children could learn about food and nature by interacting with it first-hand. In addition to practicing sustainable farming, preschoolers would also be introduced to the concept of renewable energy through wind turbines and solar panels located on the school grounds.

"We tried to make a different way to learn," lead designer Edoardo Capuzzo Dolcetta told Fast Company. "So not reading a book, or listening to a teacher, but experience directly based on practice."

After winning the AWR contest, the team is now hoping to turn their idea into a reality. They're currently in talks with a Rome-based child psychologist who's looking to build something similar to "Nursery Fields Forever." You can check out the art from their winning concept below.

Images courtesy of AWR Competitions.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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Tulane University Offers Free Semester to Students Affected by Hurricane Maria
Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

As Puerto Rico continues to assess the damage left by Hurricane Maria last month, one American institution is offering displaced residents some long-term hope. Tulane University in New Orleans is waiving next semester’s tuition fees for students enrolled at Puerto Rican colleges prior to the storm, Forbes reports.

From now until November 1, students whose studies were disrupted by Maria can apply for one of the limited spots still open for Tulane’s spring semester. And while guests won’t be required to pay Tulane's fees, they will still be asked to pay tuition to their home universities as Puerto Rico rebuilds. Students from other islands recovering from this year’s hurricane season, like St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are also welcome to submit applications.

Tulane knows all too well the importance of community support in the wake of disaster. The campus was closed for all of the 2005 fall semester as New Orleans dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. During that time, schools around the world opened their doors to Tulane students who were displaced. The university wrote in a blog post, “It’s now our turn to pay it forward and assist students in need.”

Students looking to study as guests at Tulane this spring can fill out this form to apply.

[h/t Forbes]

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Pablo, a Groundbreaking New BBC Series, Teaches Kids About Autism
BBC
BBC

Autism spectrum disorder affects one in 68 kids in the U.S., but there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the nature of the condition and what it feels like to have it. As BuzzFeed reports, a new British children’s program aims to teach viewers about autism while showing kids on the spectrum characters and stories to which they can relate.

Pablo, which premiered on the BBC’s kids’ network CBeebies earlier this month, follows a 5-year-old boy as he navigates life with autism. The show uses two mediums: At the start of an episode, Pablo is played by a live actor and faces everyday scenarios, like feeling overstimulated by a noisy birthday party. When he’s working out the conflict in his head, Pablo is depicted as an animated doodle accompanied by animal friends like Noa the dinosaur and Llama the llama.

Each character illustrates a different facet of autism spectrum disorder: Noa loves problem-solving but has trouble reading facial expression, while Llama notices small details and likes repeating words she hears. On top of demonstrating the diversity of autism onscreen, the show depends on individuals with autism behind the scenes as well. Writers with autism contribute to the scripts and all of the characters are voiced by people with autism.

“It’s more than television,” the show’s creator Gráinne McGuinness said in a short documentary about the series. “It’s a movement that seeks to build awareness internationally about what it might be like to see the world from the perspective of someone with autism.”

Pablo can be watched in the UK on CBeebies or globally on the network's website.

[h/t BuzzFeed]

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