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IPM relies on information on the identity and biology of a pest species, combined with the agreed upon needs of people. For example, a few flies are usually not a problem, but a few mosquitoes carrying a disease is a potential threat. If a potential problem exists, an IPM approach considers how to use multiple tactics to prevent pests first. If direct action must be taken, the safest, most effective way to suppress pests is chosen. Thus, IPM is also a real-world ecological problem-solving model. Young children can begin simply by learning how to observe the details of the world around them and identify the different organisms involved. Older children can investigate details more closely and engage in experiments. An IPM activity can touch on many disciplines and be adapted to many areas in pre-existing curriculum.
Service-learning projects can teach students IPM tactics through real-world, hands-on practice within their school or community. Students can work with a school IPM coordinator or facility manager to develop and implement an IPM plan for their school building, grounds or playing fields.
PA IPM Program staff are working together with students and teachers in PA to help them learn about IPM and how to use IPM concepts effectively in class by giving talks, workshops and short courses.