MEMS receive $750 grant for their “Outdoor Learning Environment”

We will implement the grant by purchasing and assembling the raised garden beds within the courtyard, and our club will assist with filling the beds with soil/compost. Once the setup is complete, the students will decide how to best utilize the beds to grow food and flowers, taking into consideration the growing zones, growth timeline and space available.

Melissa Carroll and Chandler Oliphant’s objective is to provide hands-on opportunities for students to explore the process of growing different varieties of foods, from seed to maintenance to harvesting. Gardening requires creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Learning about where food comes from and building environmental awareness also helps build a sense of community for students.

“For many years, students at Pine Brook have enjoyed learning about gardening, composting and hydroponics through their after-school gardening program. Our goal is to continue to offer that experience at MEMS for the 7th and 8th grade students.” stated Melissa Carroll.

This year, we have begun to put together the Outdoor Learning Environment for students interested in learning more about how to grow their own vegetables and flowers. While we are currently using a hydroponic tower, we are limited to smaller herbs and leafy greens. We would like to also incorporate larger garden beds to give students the opportunity to grow other edible plants, such as carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and more.

“Because the courtyard at MEMS is mostly concrete and rocks, we would like to utilize raised beds within the space. We believe that this program will not only provide the opportunity for students to develop social skills, but also to understand the science behind growing both healthy foods and flowers that benefit the garden ecosystem by attracting pollinators.” added Chandler Oliphant