At School: Hospitality, Water Quality & Butterflies
Where turf grass once sat, a diverse patch of prairie in front of Woodcrest Spanish Immersion School now welcomes people, filters water, cleans the air, and provides habitat for wildlife. In the fall of 2015, five first grade teachers worked with Growing Green Hearts and decided upon a STEM adventure called Seeds for the Seasons©. The hands-on activities and environmental stories sparked interest and drummed up questions about Monarchs. After that, the North Metro students and their teachers worked with Growing Green Hearts to develop a student-centered science curriculum. Fascination with nature was the real seed that grew this project from a STEM in-school field trip to a K-5 standards-based, service learning project. Over 500 students in 22 classrooms, grades 5 through Kindergarten, participated with Growing Green Hearts in building a spectacular garden and outdoor classroom space that will serve the community for years to come. In fact, thanks to the synergy of true STEM learning, they were able to meet more science standards in exciting, meaningful ways.
Collaboration and community are keys to success. School staff worked together with Growing Green Hearts in grant-writing then creatively leveraged the funds so every student at the school could participate in the ESTEAM (environment, science, technology, engineering, art, and math) project. ESTEAM is an innovation of the STEM education movement and it was important to have all teachers understand the STEM basics, environmental science and teaching strategies. Ideas from Growing Green Heart’s teacher training called Building ESTEAM with STEM© were used as Heidi taught at a staff meeting then facilitated collaboration time.
Interested in an exciting STEM adventure at your school? Contact Heidi at Growing Green Hearts to hear more stories of what classrooms, preschools, and churches are doing to build community and habitat.
Play. Learn. Love.