International Education Week Takes You Places


This week, November 12-16, marks the 13th annual International Education Week (IEW) – an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.  This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of the U.S. Government’s effort to promote mutual understanding through international educational exchanges that prepare Americans for a global environment and that attract future leaders from abroad to study and learn in the United States.

There are other ways that you can be involved in international work. Some of it can be in your classroom, acknowledging the cultures and people who live and work in your area. But maybe there is not so much diversity in your school or community,

There may be a museum  where you can study culture. I live near the museum on the mall in Washington DC


You can start with the geography of a pencil lesson. See the geography awareness week resources.. that are a part of the GAW.

As a teacher you can do an Earthwatch Grant. I have done a few. It changes your perception about the world.  It will open your eyes to the world.

Teachers who travel bring back to their classrooms all of the experiences they had and passions they felt to inspire students and make global content come alive. By applying for grants, teachers can get these unique globe-trotting learning opportunities partially or fully funded. Edutopia has gathered stories and snapshots from teachers who have received such grants to travel.

After each teacher’s tale, you’ll find the details for how you can apply to the Fund for Teachers, the Earthwatch Institute’s Education Fellowships, the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program, the English-Speaking Union of the United States’s British Universities Summer School Program, and others.

New Earthwatch Expeditions in 2013

Earthwatch is delighted to announce nine New Expeditions for 2013. If you’ve ever wanted to travel the globe, now is the time. As an Earthwatch volunteer, you’ll help world-renowned scientists conduct important field research on hands-on projects that will change your life, and our planet, forever!

Uncovering the mysteries of Cororado's ancient Basketmakers Animals of Malawi in the Majete Wildlife Reserve Tracking chimps through the trees of Uganda Wildlife of Australia's Cloud Forests
The Daintree's Hidden Coastline, Australia Recovery of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia Safeguarding whales and dolphins in Costa Rica Whales and dolphins of the Norwegian Arctic


Volunteer with Earthwatch and plan your next adventure today! Download the 2013 Guide, search our expedition pages, or contact us for more details.

I always started school with a potluck dinner, where people came to meet the other families in the classroom, we bought recipes and shared ideas. We ate from our grandmother ‘s kitchen and talked about “summer in a jar”. Here is the web site for the Accidental Science of Cooking, ( You will LOVE it.)

  We eat because we need food, but we cook because we love food. That love is fueled by the tangy heat of spices and nurtured by the flowery aroma of herbs. Seasonings play a minimal nutritional role in our diet. They play to our senses. They make us want another bite.  

take the quiz
Dinner party fix-its: Can you cover your kitchen tracks?

Did You Know?
The flavor of any food is a complex mixture of many molecules. Strawberries, for example, contain 350 different flavor compounds.


Kitchen Lab
mock apple pie

Recipes and activities: Fake an apple pie, grow a salt sculpture, and more.
spice blends

Tour the world of spices and try your own mixtures with our spice map.
  Share and Discuss
“I tried building the salt sculpture and it was fun. We changed the color of the water when we added solution, so there are layers of color and stuff.” —Sandy, Daly City
  your senses
tasteWithout taste and smell, food wouldn’t be the same. How do you experience the flavor of your food?
I had my first lesson in cooking in a classroom by a teacher who came into my class to teach about Japan and oh, by the way, she cooked as she taught and she did stir fry in a wok. The children were mesmerized and so was I. I thought. I can do that!!!

International education strengthens ties between the United States and countries around the world, and international students—here or Americans overseas—enrich classrooms and communities with their culture, their knowledge, and their diverse backgrounds.I taught in a variety of schools, here and overseas. Working in DODDS schools or ECIS, you see the world from a different perspective and it makes you a better citizen of the world. There are long journeys of the mind, such as the Fulbright experience. I treasure the enriching idea of working, learning and being in another country with guidance and being involved in education. I had a Fulbright Hayes Scholarship to India.

The way I was immersed in the Fulbright was through my love of the Smithsonian Museum. Years ago they had an Aditi Festival on the Mall. I was excited to learn and to expiore ideas about India.

We studied and learned in 28 cities in India

The Smithsonian put together a Fulbright Hayes grant and we traveled India.
It was an amazing journey.

The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. Under the Fulbright Program, competitively selected U.S. citizens may become eligible for scholarships to study, conduct research, or exercise their talents abroad and citizens of other countries may qualify to do the same in the United States. The first participating university in the United States was George Washington University in Washington, D.C.The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, operating in over 155 countries.[1] Forty-three Fulbright alumni have won Nobel Prizes (including two in 2010, Peter A. Diamond and Ei-ichi Negishi) and seventy-eight have won Pulitzer Prizes.[2] More Nobel laureates are former Fulbright recipients than any other award program.[citation needed]The program was established to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.The Fulbright Program provides 8,000 grants annually to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university lecturing, and classroom teaching. As of 2010, 300,000 persons—114,000 from the United States and 188,000 from other countries—have participated in the program since it began.In each of 50 countries, a bi-national Fulbright Commission administers and oversees the Fulbright Program. In countries without a Fulbright Commission but that have an active program, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy oversees the Fulbright Program.The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the Fulbright Program from an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress. Additional direct and in-kind support comes from partner governments, foundations, corporations, and host institutions both in and outside the U.S.[1]

The Open Doors 2012 report reaffirms the United States as the top destination for international students.  Out of nearly 21 million students in two year or four year colleges or universities in the United States, 764,495 students are international students.  This is an increase of 6% over last year!  Through sharing ideas, perspectives, and experiences, U.S. students and local U.S. communities benefit from having international students in their classrooms and on campuses.

Open Doors

Open Doors shows that 273,996 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit during academic year 2010-2011.  Notably, U.S. students who study abroad are choosing increasingly diverse locations overseas—including China, India and South Korea—in addition to the historically “traditional” destinations in Europe. After studying abroad, American students return home with new perspectives, skills, and relationships, which they use to help strengthen their communities and advance their careers.

 Students with experience overseas gain the international knowledge, skills, and self-reliance that are needed to compete in today’s globalized economy.

The IEW 2012 website includes messages from U.S. and international leaders, as well as promotional materials, interactive features, and opportunities to post and view planned events celebrating international educational exchanges around the world.  ***IEW is on Facebook! Help us reach our goal of reaching 10,000 fans before the end of IEW by liking our Facebook page today!  You may also follow Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock on Twitter (@AnnatState) and use hashtag #IEW2012 to join the discussion and get updates on IEW.***

Check out our video: International education takes you places!  made with photos submitted by YOU!  If you have questions or comments regarding IEW please contact us at

Thank you for your support of International Education Week!

Parents, Plants, and Pedagogy… digging in the dirt ( STEM)

Garden tools and implements

Wheelbarrow, Dung Forks and Spades

On warm spring days, instead of leaving their hearts and minds in the classroom, my students often turned to the outdoors.

The study of plant life is a staple in biology curricula — children explore seeds and how plants grow, young adolescents focus on cells, and teenagers continue their studies with more in-depth investigations of botany and plant physiology.

Reading about plants is usual in the traditional school curriculum, but working with the soil, growing different varieties of plants, and eating the plants you grow is uncommon.

However, my plant lessons rarely required a textbook. The scope and sequence of my lessons on plants ranged from learning about soils (undertaking a soil profile) to studying seeds (“What is a seed?”), digging in the dirt (good for building strong bodies and minds), and making a classroom garden.

I had a lot of help from the local 4-H agent, who conducted soil profiles for me and provided eggs for our chick-hatching observations. From time to time, the agent would stop by the classroom to share and to see how things were going.

The local 4-H Club did professional soil samples for the class garden and other gardens in our community. We learned about soil layers, textural classes, color, water-holding capacity, organic content, and pH balance. We also discovered how to alter the soil in order to make it better for our work.

All this made my students think more about the dirt beneath our feet. Soil is one of our most important natural resources, and it’s important that students know about this aspect of the natural world and apply their knowledge to important factors such as land use, erosion, pollution, and urban planning.

School Gardens
There is no salad in the world as wonderful as the one you grow yourself, especially for students who have never tasted a homegrown tomato or pulled lettuce and other salad fixings from the rich earth. I remember being on a farm in the summertime with a saltshaker in my pocket, sampling the soil’s tasty bounty. But my students didn’t know where their food came from.

At another school where I worked, however, there were strawberry gardens. During recess, we would check on the progress of the strawberries, and, later in the season, we’d eat them — so delicious!

A parent then convinced me to do a gardening project. He brought his little tractor and plowed the land, bought us tools and seeds, and contributed his know-how. An important learning was to plant only varieties of crops that are harvested early in the area so that we could collect and eat our lessons before school got out for the summer. We found out about the National Gardening Association and applied for and received a Youth Garden Grants award.

Smithsonian Summer Camp

The Smithsonian has a summer camp program and I was fortunate in being able to work there. We did the Seeds of Change Garden, and walked to the Dept of Agriculture to see their garden. We investigated seeds, fruits and cultures.

Let me direct you to some resources for ideas about gardening lessons and activities. Start planning now for the next school year so you can cultivate a more interesting way to learn about plants! And please add your own advice and thoughts about how to enrich learning about gardening.

Seeds of Change Garden
National Museum of History , Smithsonian.
We created a great set of resources here that are still timely. The garden information should be helpful. I posted the spring link. But there is even more to use..

Science of Gardening

The Edible Schoolyard Garden

Down & Dirty: Getting a Handle on Mother Nature ( Where this article was originally published with the active links)

Garden of Eating: Middle Schoolers Grow Their Own Lunch

That’s Soil, Folks!: Garden Gear That’s Not Garden Variety

Play with Food: A Game Teaches Healthy Diets

Veggies to the People: The People’s Grocery Store

Other Resources
A Soil Profile (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

The Great Plant Escape: What Is a Seed? (University of Illinois Extension)

Planting Science (Botanical Society of America)

Fast Plants (University of Wisconsin at Madison)

Bottle Biology (University of Wisconsin at Madison)

Bonnie Bracey Sutton’s Blog