Last fall, thanks to YOUR generosity, LEF awarded Flower Mound Elementary Second-grade Teacher Lisa Holt a classroom grant to fund her project entitled, “Science, Inquiry and Aeroponics.” Now that spring is here, the project is beginning to bear fruit!
In her proposal, Holt explained that the use of a Tower Garden supports Lewisville ISD’s use of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) investigations and open-ended inquiry to look at real world problems. Purchasing a tower garden set allows students to be involved in seed germination, produce harvest, sustainability studies, observations of the life cycle of plants, resource conservation, community improvement and nutrition options.
The tower garden, though initially more expensive than standard outdoor plots, utilizes resources differently and allows for transport of the entire garden; space conservation by building up, not out; and conservation of resources as water and nutrients are fed through the center of the garden. By providing these improvements to gardening, students have the opportunity to impact the health and nutrition options available to communities where gardening might initially seem implausible. And they can do all of these things while learning basic life science concepts involved in seed germination and observing plant life cycles.
The most important element in all of this is that students learn problem-solving skills in a real-world, hands-on setting in which learning, quite literally, comes to life.
Seedlings were grown in the classroom and then transferred to the tower garden in mid-February. “We have been growing our seeds into two inch sprouts before they could be moved to the Tower Garden,” Holt explained. “During this time, students measured and watered and discussed what plants need to grow. Before the kids placed their plant into the garden we had already filled it with water and tested the pH level. When we added the nutrients and plugged it all in, lights came on and the water began to flow!! It was so exciting!! Thank you, LEF, thank you, thank you!”