BALTIMORE WISDOM PROJECT is one of the best charities to donate to in 2023.
Youth using a tree finder book to identify trees.
A key part of our holistic peace education and healing is STEM education--particularly life science, environmental justice, and math education.
Freed from high stakes tests and grades, youth and families engage in "pure learning" full of discovery and gradual ownership of the content in a structured, interactive educational environment.
There are five major classifications of life on earth: animals, plants, monera, protista, and fungi.
When youth and families learn factual scientific and medical knowledge about how these forms of life survive and thrive, then they ground themselves in rational evidence for peaceful, mutually supportive living.
All life on earth has cells; thrives daily through homeostasis; reproduces (or has varying capacities to do so); regulates itself through metabolism; and organizes itself hereditarily (through DNA, the molecules that contain genetic information). When we learn about the commonalities and differences between these forms of life, we hopefully become more committed to elevating positive living in general.
Learning about how humans sustain healthy living is central to our STEM education. Humans thrive through the integrated (or holistic) interworking of our 12 organ systems (cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, integumentary, lymphatic, muscular, nervous, renal, reproductive, respiratory, and skeletal).
Youth and families are continually moved when they discover how vital the health and integration of these systems are for peaceful living.
So too are they moved when we learn about the origins of life on earth—or cosmological considerations.
Our lessons are interactive and hands-on. We conduct safe experiments with live specimens (be they earthworms, birds, mushrooms, trees, lizards, or beetles) to discover how to care for and enhance the lives of non-human species.
We build small-scale terrariums, mossariums, florariums, paludariums, and aquariums to study the experience of life in habitats.
We conduct indoor growing experiments to provide sustenance for human life despite challenging environmental conditions.
We plant trees (or clone them through processes such as air layering) to study the complexity of propagation.
Focusing on the protection, preservation, and conservation of waterways, foodways, land, and habitats is central to our life science curriculum.
We elevate environmental justice with learning practices like EcoVoice, PhotoVoice, camping with species watching, and quarterly expeditions to study watersheds and the gain or loss of life within urban and rural nature.
We also track changes in urban, semi-urban, and rural ecologies through climate change, and the impact such changes have on the sustenance of life on earth of the five major classifications mentioned earlier on this web page.
What create meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs) in which learners lead and co-facilitate the study of environmental problems that directly affect their lives (like pollution, lead poisoning, improper waste disposal, flooding in the housing projects, and urban blight) so learners can develop culturally sensitive action plans to solve or address these problems.
Youth and families consistently find the innerworkings of the human brain (and that of other species) to be a fascinating exploration of overall wellness.
Lessons about the central, somatic, autonomic, sympathetic, and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the architecture of the brain helps them understand how to mitigate trauma and regulate emotions.
Brain science helps community members impacted by trauma gain scientific and medical evidence to mitigate the "F's" of trauma like fight, freeze, flee, flop, and finagle.
Every Tuesday during our "STEM & Healing Arts Peacemaking Program" we engage in "mathletics."
Mathletics are educational math games freed from the high stakes of grades and testing.
Youth explore computational practices to problem-solve everyday problems involving probability, statistics, pre-algebra, algebra, budgeting, and basic financial management--the kinds of elementary to advanced math that help them organize and elevate their lives in the healthiest and most professional manner possible.
Freed from high stakes tests and grades, our curriculum of "pure learning" is organized around basic biological knowledge about elevating "The Good Life" on earth--meaning, the most peaceful, mutually caring ways of living for all the earth's species. These basics are the following:
Ecosystems: The emerging organized interaction and integration of living things and non-living things within an environment.
Biospheres: The earth as a whole and holistic consideration of how we sustain not just parts of the earth, but the entirety of our planet's wellness.
Biomes: The habitats defined by the life-ways of particular plants, animals, and earth-dwelling species. Failure to study and protect biomes may corrupt ecosystems and the entire biosphere.
Communities: Intentionally or unintentionally groups of individuals according to assumed or actual commonalities, and the hope that such communities may life mutually supportive lives.
Populations: Measured, documented groups of living species to study how to sustain and enhance their lives.
Organs: The bodily units that precipitate major life functions.
Tissues: The bodily matter inside organs that carry out life's functions.
Cells: The smallest unit of life inside of tissues.
Organelles: The matter inside of cells like the nucleus, mitochondria, etc.
Proteins, Nucleic Acids (DNA, RNA), Fats, Carbohydrates: The matter consisting of organelles.
Molecules: A group of atoms bonded together that make up the smallest unit of a chemical compound or element and that can facilitate a chemical reaction.
Atoms: There are 92 naturally occurring atoms (or elements). Only 11 are found in significant quantities of living things. 2 atoms make a molecule.
Healthy foodways are an essential part of our STEM curriculum.
Every session of our programming involves the serving of healthy food that empowers youth and families to link nutritious foodways with the elevation of peaceful life.
Our daily meals always include fresh veggies, fruit, and whole grains according to the MyPlate initiative.
We frequently serve vegetarian and vegan options so youth and families may explore plant-based and fruit-rich diets while also enjoying lean meat according to their wishes.
We discuss where food is sourced, how it's grown, and environmental justice issues that inform foodways.
We are culturally sensitive: we talk to youth and families extensively to discover their tastes and we incorporate as many healthy versions of their wishes as we can.
We serve fresh water and we model food safety and clean preparation and disposal during every meal.
Every month in our youth program we introduce, discuss, and "test eat" a vegetable, fruit, or dish that the youth may not have discovered to broaden cultural horizons and widen taste palettes.