We believe that permaculture is a powerful vehicle for STEM education, place-based experiential learning, and community problem solving. In 2011, we began our first pilot STEM education programs with Summer's Knoll in Ann Arbor. These pilot courses gave birth to our foundational curriculum for K-12 schools, and were documented on the "Problem-Based Permaculture" website
In 2012, Nathan Ayers was awarded the first ever "A2 Awesome Foundation" award for his design of "The PERMAcycle" - a closed loop, systems thinking, food and energy production unit for classroom education. The device made its way into many classrooms in Ann Arbor and Detroit, and was used for outreach by the University of Michigan Permaculture Design Team.
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Our Permaculture Partners
Since 2010, Chiwara has partnered with K-12 schools, colleges and universities across Michigan to create permaculture based, experiential-education programming. Our work has been adopted in countless schools and classrooms, while winning awards and recognition.
In 2011, Chiwara director Nathan Ayers began teaching permaculture at Washtenaw Community College. The College utilized "Chiwara House" as the host site for the classes, which would give birth to the extremely popular "2-Day Permaculture Intensive" course that continues to be held at many locations throughout Michigan. Chiwara has also partnered with North Central Michigan College, Central Michigan University's Biology Station, and Eastern Michigan University's SEMIS Coalition to offer permaculture training and development courses.
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