While it’s true that one of the newest projects to take root at Gwinnett County’s Discovery High School is “garden variety,” it’s certainly not ordinary.
After receiving a $1,500 Infinite Energy grant that supports science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) a few months ago, students and educators at the school began planning a school garden with the funds. The hope was that the project would work as a learning tool and as a way to give back to the community.
Science teacher Danielle M. said last week that the garden project is already underway. A local contractor has built a fence around the garden area, and students from every grade are helping to prep the site. But it’s been a lot of hard work.
“Last week, I made the comment that it felt like my eyeballs were sweating. One of my students replied, ‘No, Mrs. M. Those are tears.’”
She said students are almost ready to add soil and to start planting a few crops for a late summer and fall garden.
“Several students have stepped into leadership positions. And they’re finding they have an outstanding presence in our group. It’s such an amazing experience to see our students grow,” Danielle said.
This living laboratory, as Danielle describes it, will help students conduct experiments, understand the seasons and land form changes. They’ll get to investigate life cycles and take population surveys. And they’ll get a chance to try their hand at design and engineering, as well as being able to flex their artistic muscles in beautifying the garden in different ways. And it’s all helping them learn how to work as a team.
“STEAM learning in the garden is important. It increases student engagement and learning. It supports different learning styles and integrates vertical and cross curricular learning communities. And it brings our cluster schools and community members together, too,” she said.
In addition to all the learning, much of the garden harvest will go to help feed the area’s families in need, she said.
At Infinite Energy, we’re proud to support learning in the communities we serve. We feel giving back to schools is one of the best ways to make a difference in the world. And we hope you’ll stay tuned as we cover more of our STEAM grant recipients in the months and weeks ahead.