Garden Mosaics is a youth and community education program that
combines science learning with intergenerational mentoring, multicultural
understanding, and community action. The initial idea for Garden
Mosaics came from a realization that community gardens, because
of their unusual blend of people, cultures, plants, and activism,
offer unique sites for youth education within a community setting.
Educators from non-profit organizations and universities, undergraduate
and graduate students, community gardeners, and youth in cities
across the US contributed to the development of the Garden
Mosaics program. We currently
are working with colleagues in South Africa and other countries
to develop an international component for Garden Mosaics.
Garden Mosaics provides diverse learning opportunities for youth
aged 10-18, educators, and gardeners. In addition, university students
at all levels intern with Garden Mosaics in teaching and research
Garden Mosaics also encompasses a research and graduate education
program based at Cornell University, which seeks to further
our understanding of science learning within a community context.
Some broad questions our graduate research group is addressing
Can science education lead to civic participation?
Which of the following features of youth and community programs
encourage engagement and learning:
• asking intriguing scientific questions and seeking their
• interacting with elders?
• conducting activities that are situated within local culture
• participating in community action?
How can we balance participation among educators in program development
with broad-scale dissemination of an established program?
For papers published related to Garden
Mosaics, click here.
Marianne Krasny, Professor of Natural Resources and Principal
Investigator on the Garden Mosaics grant, provides leadership for
the graduate research group.
Graduate students conducting research related to Garden Mosaics
Role of computer technologies in networking among educators and
program implementation in community based educational settings.
Tania Schusler. Youth environmental action programs as a means
of integrating science education, civic participation, and youth
Jamila Simon. Role of after-school programs in motivating minority
students to learn science.
Tidball. Urban Greening, Environmental Security, and International
Garden Mosaics educational and research initiatives have received
support through the National Science Foundation Informal Science
Education program, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
at Cornell University, Special Congressional Appropriations (Congressman
Jose Serrano, South Bronx), Cornell Urban Scholars Program, Environment
and Language Educational Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
Hatch Federal Formula Funds, Muskie Fellowship, SUNY Minority
Fellowship, United Components, and the Weed Science Society of
America. Visit our Support