Rotary Club of Rutland

The 2nd-grade fall Rotary Educational Greenhouse program was filled with exciting plant science and hands-on gardening activities. 
By Melinda Hardt Education Coordinator VFFC FABEL
The 2nd-grade fall Rotary Educational Greenhouse program was filled with exciting plant science and hands-on gardening activities. 
Each week students explored plant parts and function with projects and experiments that are designed to build on basic knowledge through experiential learning. The students were able to pull apart a whole plant (zinnias) to identify parts, used their senses to explore; tasting, smelling and feeling basil, rosemary, stevia and a variety of other plants. They set up experiments with plant parts (stems) to demonstrate function(i.e. celery in colored water etc.), used the plant parts (fruit-apples) to make a tasty treat by pressing cider, collected and counted seeds and grew and cared for their own plant that they started from seeds(mung beans). The fall program culminated with planting fall bulbs of garlic and tulips and daffodils This way the students can look forward to seeing their fall plantings growing when they return in the spring!
Students documented their activities and findings in their own personalized notebooks, which are designed to specifically correlate and build upon each week's activities. In the spring they will use their plant knowledge to help plan and plant, returning to the greenhouse in March to start and care for seedlings, which will be used to plant their school's gardens in May.
What a wonderfully enthusiastic group of students RCPS 2nd graders are! Seeing how excited and engaged they were in everything from digging in the dirt to making apple cider, was really inspiring.