Thanks to grant, Fleeta students are learning science, hands-on

Published 12:41 am Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Students at Fleeta Junior High School are getting hands-on learning experiences by planting their own garden, thanks to the Covington Electric Bright Ideas Grant.

FJHS science teacher Mary Ward said that her students came up with the garden idea all by themselves.

“I was explaining to them the steps in the scientific method,” Ward said. “And I started giving them an example of a garden and they immediately jumped on it and asked if we could actually do that.”

Sixth grader Ryder Jackson said that he has learned a lot about plants since he has worked on the project.

“I found out that different plants have different needs,” Jackson said. “We learn a lot about the scientific method as well. Right now we are in the observation step. We are just measuring and seeing how much the plants are growing and if different plants have special needs.”

The students are also comparing different fertilizers to see which plants grow better with different fertilizers.

“We are using Miracle Grow with one group of plants,” Sixth grader Malachi McCarty said. “Then with the other group we used chicken litter. I think most of us said that the chicken litter would do the best.”

Several of the students said that they are looking forward to eating the fruits of their labor.

“We still have about two more weeks left,” Sixth grader Alexandria Thompson said. “But I am really looking forward to eating everything that we have planted.”

The garden has cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, jalapenos, eggplants and the students are working on putting strawberries in the garden.

“With the strawberries, we are going to grow them hydroponically,” Ward said. “That way we will introduce them to growing fruits and vegetables differently than what they are used to.”

Ward said that this project has been a school-wide effort.

“We are getting all of the grades to help with the garden,” Ward said. “That way that can learn at a young age. The project is all very hands-on, which is why we wanted to do it. The Farmers Coop in Opp has been very helpful as well, by providing the soil and helping us build the structure around the garden and we couldn’t have done this at all without the Covington Electric grant.”