Education is in full bloom as students at Father Gorman Community School are seeing the results of their work.
Grade 7 teacher Mitch Cherry, who purchased a Tower Garden last year, said it ties into the student’s science curriculum.
“The students are able to see what we can grow locally in our own environment. Then, we talk a lot about how we’ can conserve nature, so how by growing things inside, we can then maybe transplant things outside,” said Cherry.
This year, the students are growing a variety of plants such as honeydew, melons and cantaloupes. The tower also has 15 different species of local plants, such as corn and pumpkins.
The garden grows at a high rate due to the UV lights used to grow the plants.
“It is statistically proven to grow things 30% faster because it’s an optimal environment.”
Students check on the plants daily, making sure pH levels are correct, adding water, nutrients and minerals to ensure the growth of the plants.
“The students are really enjoying being able to come into the classroom and observe their learning.”
Cherry said the Garden is an example of the school getting students to learn with all five senses.
“Seeing things, smelling, touching, the feeling is ideal for their learning rather than just simple worksheets and handouts.”
Although, this is the overall goal, this year is different as the school is limiting the surfaces touched by students.
The class now has one student in charge of making sure the garden is tended to.
The students will be taking the produce they planted home once it is grown. Last year, everything the class grew was used for a salad bar day.
“If they grow lettuce, maybe they can put it on their sandwich that day.”
Grade 7 student, Kayden Ceseser said the biggest thing she is learning is patience.
“It’s gross sometimes, plants if you plant them, they won’t grow and sometimes they will grow faster, sometimes slower. It all depends really,” said Ceseser.
She got a mix of seeds and didn’t know what she was growing at first.
“At first I thought it was just grass but then I looked it up and it was aquatic grass. So, I hope it turns out well, I don’t know what I’m gonna use it for.”
Cherry purchased a variety of seeds last year and gives the students an opportunity to pick what they want to grow, within reason.
He mentioned limiting some seeds, for example, pumpkins, as they’re so popular the tower may be packed with them.