The Potato; from Peru to Our Table: How the Columbian Exchange Played a Role in Demonstrating the Value of Potatoes from Latin America to Our Classroom

Tod Skinner, Science, Coulwood S.T.E.M. Academy

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This curriculum will make as significant step forward in our CMS curriculum by making connections with ELL scholars and families. This unit will also bring to light the importance of locally grown foods.  As this curriculum allows the scholars of Coulwood STEM Academy to undertake the task of raising food, there comes along with it an inherent respect for the land and the food alike.

In addition to respecting the fruit of their labor, the scholars will also be learning about how Latin American culture has an impact on them here in Charlotte, NC. From the early 1400’s the Incas of Peru exemplified the ingenuity we would expect from a modern civilization.  Reading about the Incas can garner respect. If the scholars at Coulwood never get outside the walls of the west-end learning community, or read about how we get our food, like a potato, or meet someone like me, then they may never experience the joy of this effort that was so common in our community just a few years ago.

We will also celebrate the scholars’ accomplishments with their families.  Overall, we plan to honor cultures both past and present, land, plants, and each other. We will do this by gaining understanding of the Incan culture and potatoes.