An ecological classroom has a greenhouse and many plants year round, despite the cold weather of winter.
Recently in Doysletown, Pennsylvania, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School opened a new 32 by 16 foot glass greenhouse which also serves as a science lab. Students from preschool through eighth grade learn about botany, agriculture, biology, and art while working with the plants and dirt.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer it to students,” said Lisa Martinez, the school’s director of institutional advancement. Only a few schools in the area have a similiar greenhouse facility.
Fourth graders were busy filling containers with soil and seeds for chives, radishes, and lettuce, as well as other plants that grown in cooler weather. They dated the pots so they can measure how long the different plant varieties take to grow.
“I like to see beautiful plants and feeling the rich soil,” said 9 year old Ashley Kolen, while planting radishes.
The greenhouse has heat, but temperatures will be cooler during winter nights, so students are planting cold weather produce. Parent volunteer Susan Kerrigan explained the importance of good soil, light, water and air, and had taught the students about photosynthesis previously. “I love being with the kids, spending time doing science,” she said.
Regular teacher Dawn Brooks believes the greenhouse is “fabulous”. “We’re going to grow tomatoes and sell them,” she said. “It will be a math lesson and science lesson.”