Did you know that 23 million Americans currently don't have access to grocery stores? How can our cities grow local, affordable food?

About This Video

Grade level: 6-10
Length: 1.5 minutes
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: MS-ESS3.A

In this video, we'll learn how young people are designing creative solutions to give more people access to fresh and healthy foods and combat food deserts in our communities. Below are discussion questions you can use in the classroom in conjunction with this video to engage your students in designing their own solutions.

Video Discussion Questions

  1. What are food deserts, and how do they impact people?  What people do they usually impact the most?  Why do you think this is?
  2. What are some solutions to food deserts?
  3. Can we grow food on farms in cities?  What do you think these farms might look like?
  4. How can we use urban farming to benefits kids in urban areas? 
  5. Do you know if there are any food deserts near where you live?  How might you find out?

Science Texts for Students

Use this resource to ground your understanding before integrating this video into your lesson. Alternatively, allow your students to practice close reading of scientific texts by passing out the article and the empty version of the chart—let them do the work!

Because the issues we're exploring in Flipside Science are complex, we've evaluated how the solution fares across three important dimensions: the environment, the economy, and society.

Accompanying Activity: Sustainable Food Solutions

Weighing the pros and cons

Weighing the Pros and Cons
How do we assess the benefits and drawbacks of various solutions to a problem? To decide how one potential solution compares to another, we have to consider the pros and cons of each from many dimensions, including environmental, social, cultural, and economic. In this activity, students will work together to map out the strengths and limitations of potential solutions to some important global food system issues.

Connections to the Next Generation Science Standards

While this video doesn't necessarily cover the following standards in depth, it is a compelling resource you can use to supplement your curriculum that does.

Disciplinary Core Ideas (Grades 6-8):

  • MS-ESS3.A: Natural Resources

Crosscutting Concepts (Grades 6-8):

  • Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World

Test Your Farming Skills with this Free Environmental Simulation

cornucopia game

While playing Cornucopia—a fast-paced farm simulator—you manage a plot of land, planting crops based on a number of factors, in order to meet a variety of food orders. Keep an eye on your water meter and your crop yields, and earn technology upgrades to make your farm as successful as possible before the season ends.

Our Hungry Planet: About This Unit

To feed our growing world, we need innovative solutions. In this unit, we'll explore environmental issues related to the food we grow and eat. We'll review topics from food waste to urban farming, and learn how simple choices we make impact our planet. This unit introduces students to the process of design thinking, and culminates in a design thinking challenge related to food systems issues.


Bay Area Urban Farms, Science Today
In this article, you'll learn more about some of the local farms featured in this video!

#urban farming, GOOD Magazine
This compendium of articles describes urban farming trends and provides examples from around the world. 

Urban Farm inside a Tokyo Office Building, GOOD Magazine
An article from August 2015: wouldn't it be relaxing to work alongside fruits, vegetables, and rice paddies?

San Francisco Urban Farms, Science Today
This video from back in 2011 showcases some of the secret gardens in San Francisco.

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