Let it Grow integrated topic:
- STEM connection: students design and plant a garden, following the engineering design process. (Alternative STEM connection could be Biomimicry, click here for resources)
- Biology: living and non-living things, life-cycles
- English: explanations of life-cycles
- Classroom inspiration
STEM Gardening Process
We used the Engineering Design Process to design and plant the garden.
- Students identified need: they believed students weren’t looking after the school garden areas.
- Researched: we identified questions and researched using the internet and interviewed the school groundskeeper. Students were put into groups and needed to research possible vegetables and choose one their group would plant.
- Possible Solutions: Students draw drafts of 4 possible garden designs
- Select a promising solution: Students selected one of their designs to draw up in more detail. Staff selected 4 ‘finalist’ designs that students voted on. The class then discussed any alterations they wanted to make to the design.
- Create: plant the garden, on-going maintenance and monitoring (graphing the plant growth).
- Test/Evaluate: Redesign as needed: Reflect on the garden progress and make necessary on-going adjustments (eg. watering scheduled, pest control, additional shade)
Garden Design Examples
Ziplock Bag Greenhouse: write names of seeds on the front of the bag, put in cotton wool, wet with spray bottle, put seeds in, tape to window where seeds will get necessary sunlight
Compostable & Biodegradable Seedling Pots: fold newspaper to make pot, add potting mix, add seeds, water.
***Paperclips could be used instead of staples. Then the paperclips could be removed before planting.
Bird Feeders: apples, gelatin, screw, string, birdseed and water.
- Option 1: bird feeder instructions (apple, seeds and gelatin as shown in picture below)
- Option 2: bird feeder instructions (apple and seeds )
Cooking: Students did the following…
- Researched possible recipes
- Chose a recipe and provided a rational for why we should use their recipe . Teachers then chose a recipe, based on agreed success criteria.
- Cooked Zucchini, Carrot and Cheddar fritters, using mostly school-grown ingredients.
- SA DECD guide
- ThemedGardens: Waterwise Sensory Maze
- ThemedGardens: Seasonal Colour Garden
- ThemedGardens: Australian Habitat Haven‘
- Planting schedule
Gardening in the future and the role of new technologies
- About reducing food waste: https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au/
- Example lesson using Engineering Design Process: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch