First Green: Turning golf courses into classrooms

Golf courses are awesome - they are living, growing habitats and havens for wildlife. Greenkeepers are the professionals who look after the golf course, using STEM skills daily to help them promote nature and the environment.

First Green trips provide fun outdoor learning activities, with a bit of golf thrown in, on golf courses nationwide. 

First Green - Turning Golf Courses into Classrooms!

 
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Be inspired by the golf course

A First Green field trip provides a variety of inclusive hands-on practical learning stations, where the golf course's greenkeeping team teaches some of the skills they use every day to make their golf course awesome!

Practical STEM learning

Each station will feature science, technology, engineering or maths skills used by professional greenkeepers every day. All are delivered in a safe, real-world setting surrounded by nature.

All stations link to the current UK curriculum and are endorsed by STEM Learning.


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The children have been really excited to come. They're moving around all the different stations, having a really good time and showing lots of interest.

Emma Bailey

Headteacher, West Kirby Primary School


What's included

  • Half day field trip
  • Practical hands-on STEM learning stations
  • A fun golf activity
  • And no charge for the field trip!
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First Green's Impact

By understanding how STEM concepts have real world applications, young people find new inspiration in their schoolwork and in the possibility of a career in a STEM field.  For the golf industry, the benefit to this programme is that many of the young people attending have never been on a golf course before. First Green introduces a diverse audience to the sport and the valuable green space golf courses offer in their communities.

Six benefits of First Green

1. Applying lessons: Learning stations bring the classroom to life on the golf course.

2. Inspiring young people: Sparking young peoples' interest in STEM through hands-on experiences.

3. Building community: Raising awareness for conservation brings people together for a common cause.

4. Strengthening futures: Increased interest in STEM advances our youth, the economy and society at large.

5. Advancing golf: The future of the game depends on sustainability.

6. Having fun: Field trips to a golf course bring school lessons to life in new and engaging ways.


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We really think this is an important initiative that highlights the career of greenkeeping to people who may not have heard about it before. Hopefully we can encourage the next generation into the career for many years to come.

Jenny Bledge

First Green project leader, BIGGA


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What is STEM?

STEM education combines the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, helping students explore the applications where they connect.  

Golf courses offer economic benefits, recreational opportunities and green spaces to the communities they serve. But golf courses are also large parcels of land comprising carbon-capturing turf, various tree species and numerous habitat types and vegetation. They provide wildlife habitat, produce oxygen and filter surface water.

Golf enjoys a greater connection to its natural surroundings than any other sport. Yet with constant pressure to keep up with environmentally friendly practices, the industry is utilising science, technology, engineering and mathematics to instill a lifelong appreciation of our most precious natural resources for generations to come.

The longterm vitality of golf depends on STEM:

  1. STEM’s hands-on approach enriches the learning experience.
  2. Each golf course presents unique applications of the STEM curriculum.
  3. STEM will create a positive impact on sustainability throughout the game.

Find out more about the importance of STEM learning here.

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What happens on a First Green Field Trip?

A First Green field trip provides a variety of inclusive hands on practical learning stations, where the golf course’s greenkeeping team teach some of the skills that they use every day to make golf courses awesome!

On a First Green field trip, Golf Club greenkeepers co-ordinate a 2 to 3 hour showcase of greenkeeping skills, held in a safe area on the golf course. Young people rotate through learning stations that cover topics such as soil and plant science, golf course ecology, testing water quality or various maths calculations using actual problems greenkeepers solve daily.

A set of 13 lesson plans have been designed to give greenkeepers ideas on how to run STEM based sessions for young people aged 9 to 14 years of age. The lesson plans highlight the work of greenkeepers and their important role in maintaining a golf course in a good condition for the players whilst helping to protect the environment. The activities highlight various aspects of STEM such as:

  • Maths to calculate large areas;
  • Engineering and technology to look at how some tools operate; and
  • Science ranging from looking at habitats and food chains on a golf course, to showing how prisms and stimpmeters work.

To find out more about the lesson plans we have designed check out the First Green Resources Page

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Creating new learning opportunities

The aim of First Green is to introduce young people to the career opportunities available in golf and the skills and knowledge required to do these jobs. All are delivered in a safe, real world setting surrounded by nature. We have spent time making sure all stations link to the current UK curricula, with the help of STEM Learning.  First Green field trips benefit young people by encouraging them to apply their classroom knowledge in an outdoor setting.


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It's been really fun. I've liked the way we have learnt about nature and how the greenkeepers look after it.

Florence

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I like the bunkers because it's really cool to experience going down and seeing what the greenkeepers have been doing.

Isaac

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My favourite thing has been when we got to do the golf because we got to learn how to hold it properly and it's just really fun to experience it.

Evie

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We're just learning about the moisturising POGO thing, which you stick in the ground and on an iPad you press a plus and it tells you how moisturised it is.

AJ


Career opportunities

STEM education opens doors to a wide variety of career paths.  Jobs in STEM-related fields can be very lucrative and are accessible to students from any socio-economic background.  We want to help our members show young people that it’s not just the usual ones like science or engineering, but also greenkeeping.

The First Green initiative benefits young people by helping them apply their classroom knowledge in an outdoor setting. By understanding how STEM concepts connect, students find new inspiration in their school work and in the possibility of a career in golf or a STEM-related field.  This program will help our members to supplement the advice of teachers and parents and hopefully spark a flame that greenkeeping is a viable option and a rewarding career.


Learn more at thefirstgreen.org or contact Jenny Bledge - Workforce Project Manager, email [email protected] or call 01347 833 800.

Are you interested in hosting a First Green field trip at your Golf Club or are you a school or group interested in attending an event? If so, please click the links below to get started!

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