InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities > Module Overview
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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Instructor Materials: Overview of the Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities Module

Module Goal: To use the social, economic, and environmental relationships established around food as a foundation for public engagement regarding the creation and perpetuation of healthy communities.

Module Summative Assessments: Each unit has its own summative assessment. In Unit 1, students will describe the roles of energy and water in food production and provide examples of real-world challenges to food availability. In Unit 2, using concept mapping, students will present multiple reasons why and how the presence of affordable, accessible, sustainably-grown good food benefits a community and individuals in that community. In Unit 3, through scenario analysis, students will present key stakeholder interactions involved in establishing an integrated healthy food system.

These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. At the top of each page, you can click on the NGSS logo to see the specific connections. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more about the process of alignment and how to use InTeGrate materials to implement the NGSS.

NGSS in this Module

This module positions students to have engaging conversations about the social, economic, and environmental relationships between food, food producers, and health outcomes.

Unit 1 The Food-Energy-Water Connection

In Unit 1, students investigate the components of energy and water, as they relate to food production. They also learn how food is connected to the dynamic elements of energy and water.

In this unit:

  • Students will explain the roles of each component as it relates to the others in the system.
  • Students will explain the set of connections that make up the system if the system breaks down or the connections are negatively affected.
  • Students will identify the most important factors involved in food production, based on the roles of energy and water in that production.
  • Students will explain and support their choices.

Summative assessment for this unit: In short essay form, students describe the roles of energy and water in food production and provide examples of real-world challenges to food availability.

Unit 2 Community-Based Participatory Solutions

Unit 2 introduces students to the realities of food insecurity and poor access to healthy food choices for urban populations. It also shows how community participation in food production can successfully address these unfavorable conditions.

In this unit:

  • Students will investigate the potential for local access to healthier foods in their home city or neighborhood.
  • Students will identify two major challenges/obstacles and two major opportunities/benefits people are presented with in their efforts to establish better food options on the local level.
  • Students will contrast the challenges and opportunities in strengthening community through urban agriculture.

Summative assessment for this unit: Using concept mapping, students will present multiple reasons why and how the presence of affordable, accessible, sustainably-grown good food benefits a community and individuals in that community.

Unit 3 Food Systems In Action

Unit 3 examines the food system in action through the roles and contributions of key producers, distributors, and facilitators committed to establishing integrated networks centered on "healthy food access."

In this unit:

  • Students will be able to discuss effective strategies to build local partnerships to meet the needs of the community.
  • Students will be able to predict consequences to health, economy, and environment as a result of existing unsustainable food systems.

Summative assessment for this unit: In a written analysis, students will give the perspectives and arguments of eight distinct role players based on a community engagement scenario. This scenario is centered on the dynamics of a food system and its challenges.

Making the Module Work

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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »