Jeremy Roberts’ senior plant science class partnered with Ground Works and SD Agriculture in the Classroom to build teaching garden boxes behind Sioux Falls Christian High School on Tuesday morning.
The students laid wooden boards, screwed them into formation and filled the newly created boxes with compost. This garden will be a tool for active learning for the rest of the year.
“A teaching garden is different than a community garden in that you’re linking all of the educational pieces of their STEM day or their language arts or history to this garden, so it’s literally a living laboratory,” said Cindy Heidelberger Larson, Ground Works associate executive director.
By letting students get involved in every step of the process, from construction to harvest, they can practice what they’re learning in real time.
“You’ve got problem solving, you’ve got communication skills happening here, you’ve got teamwork happening,” said Larson.
Ground Works has assisted in creating 17 teaching gardens over the past decade between Lincoln and Minnehaha counties. The project at Sioux Falls Christian is the organization’s first garden build of 2020.
Landscape Garden Center donated the compost and SD Agriculture in the Classroom will provide starter plants for the students to start their garden. Volunteers from Minnehaha Master Gardeners assisted with the construction of the boxes.
“Everything we do is through collaboration and teamwork because there’s really no other way to do it,” said Larson.
Once the teaching garden has been established, Ground Works aims to expand the learning opportunities beyond plant science. Future classes could focus on food and nutrition or the agriculture industry at large.
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