The Patterson School – prep school from 1909-2009

This site maintained for your historical appreciation.

See for info on its resurrective and regenerative present … and future!

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Permaculture Design Certificate Course

We Are All Farmers & Pockerchicory Farms
Permaculture Design Certificate Course

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is an environmental design philosophy which develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.

Permaculture design seeks to minimize waste, human labor, and energy input by building systems with maximal benefits between design elements to achieve a high level of synergy.

Through this Permaculture Design Certificate Course, students become immersed in the principles and practices of systems design and how to integrate these systems.   In order to earn the certificate, a person must participate in creating a design over a “72” hour training.  The space of focus for this course will be Patterson School property, just outside Lenoir NC, in Happy Valley.

Students will develop a comprehensive overview plan for Patterson with a focus on land use and systems based in permaculture principles.

Dates:    Friday July 19 – Saturday July 27

The usual price of the course is $850 and includes 11 teachers and 25 meals with a minimum of 10 full participants.  Patterson has arranged for a special course to be taught on Patterson School campus.

$600 per student for full 72 hour course

$70 per day for students who cannot commit to the full 72 hours – No certification

The goal is to have created and presented actual maps and designs for Patterson, by the end of the course.

Please contact:

Edward or Crystal 704-592-2557  –
Debbie Goforth 864-621-1770   –

to reserve a space and ensure that we prepare enough materials.

A limited number of dorm rooms at Patterson School may be available at a nominal cost of $10 for over-night guests.   Guests will need to bring their own bedding (sheets/cover/pillow), and comfortable, casual clothes.


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During the week of June 3rd-7th students in grades 3-5 from various schools in Caldwell County frequented the campus of Patterson Science Center to engage in a week long summer camp in which they explored various areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)! On the first day of camp, teachers, Amy Bradley and Jennifer Biddix, read students the book Too Many Toys by David Shannon and challenged the students to use a cardboard box like the main character of the story to create a device that would better their everyday lives! Following this challenge students were immersed in the engineering design process to design, create, and test a bridge made entirely of pasta! On the second day of camp students were challenged to create a newspaper chair that would hold the weight of adult! Using Knex Toys students designed a “critter” with the only stipulation that the critter had to have parts that moved and students had to explain what made the parts move. The focus of the third day of camp was “Theme Park Day,” students created marble runs from toilet paper rolls, pipe insulators, cups, and various other objects. Using Lego’s student built Merry Go-Rounds to explore how simple machines worked. The fourth day’s focus was “Medieval Times,” in which students first built a catapult using only Popsicle sticks, a wooden block, masking tape, and a spoon that would launch a cotton ball. Later they improved their designs and used Lego’s to create larger catapults to launch tape balls. On the final day of camp students showcased their creations to their parents and invited guests and presented the concepts they had learned. The camp ended with parents competing against students to engineer a “water drop parachute” to land a cup of water safely to the ground without any water being lost in the process.

Patterson Science Center has two more scheduled summer events for students, during June 17th-21st, rising 6th-9th graders can register for another STEM camp called “STEAM-ing Up the Valley.” During this week long camp students will engineer bungee cords,build hovercrafts and gravity cars, create windmills, solar boats, solar cars, and design a sustainable community. The last summer student camp is scheduled for July 15th-19th, again for rising 6th-9th graders. The camp is called “Tom Dula: Friend or Foe,” during this camp students will engage in a forensic investigation as the legend of Tom Dula is retold. The camp will begin with a visit to Laura Fosters grave, following the field trip students will dig up a mock grave and begin the process of analyzing a crime scene. Using eyewitness reports and analyzing trace evidence of hair, fibers, blood, and DNA students will present evidence in a mock trail to discover if Tom Dula killed Laura Foster or if Ann Melton was involved in the salacious crime.

For more information please call 828-754-1569 or go to


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Learning Comes Alive at Patterson Science Center

News-Topic Article 12-26-2012

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