60 Days at Near West

scienceHard to believe that two months ago to the day, I was introducing a group of fifth- and sixth-graders to recycling, composting and earth science.

Wow, did I learn a lot!

We created new zebra mussel shell compost, planted seeds in experimental soil and learned how to take common, recyclable plastics and turn them into re-purposed garden containers. Best of all, we now have healthy, thriving garden plants in the able hands of a group of students who never ever gardened before.

In 60 days, they learned how to observe, infer and make assumptions. They took notes in their science journals. They learned how to tweet and told me what they liked most about these experiments.

They learned how to nurture living, breathing seedlings. They also learned about AI (appreciative inquiry), a big-kid idea that I learned from Case Western Reserve University Professor David Cooperrider.

Best of all, they will return in the fall with a new appreciation for how seeds work and how to build their own container gardens.

This is just the start. Many of the students (Cecilia, Serenity, Arianna, Aliza, Angus, Danelis, and Adriana) offered to take their plants home, to see if they will continue to thrive.

fieldfun2_smAre they up for the task?

I got a lot of hugs and a handcrafted bookmark. My goal is to report back this summer to see how well the plants did. For now, they are done with science, after finishing the finest of fine Field Day events, this side of Ohio City.

Woo, NO MORE SCHOOL!!!

Thanks all you wonderful NWIS students. See you next fall!