Mrs. Dweck’s Willow Lane 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade Gifted and Talented classrooms have been enjoying working with and learning about vertical aeroponic growing systems called Tower Gardens. Many benefits of Tower Garden growing systems are: growing up not out, using less space, more efficient use of water, and recycling the same water and nutrients throughout the system every 15 minutes on the hour. Plus, they don’t use any harmful pesticides or herbicides, so plants grow faster and stronger! Mrs. Dweck’s students have been fortunate to have a representative and parent from their school join them once a week to teach and guide them on how to care for fruits and vegetables in their classroom. They have been growing 28 different varieties of herbs, leafy greens, and self-pollinating plants. These students will soon become Tower Garden Ambassadors by training other students throughout their school about plant care, growth, nutrition, and philanthropy.
The students have been very fortunate to have several professionals helping them with their Tower Garden experience. Students got a lesson from Lauren Kusik and Jacqueline Thomas, WFMZ meteorologists, about hydroponics (Lauren’s father-in-law is a hydroponic gardener) and how outdoor weather affects outdoor gardens and farms. Mary Grube, the WFMZ Sunrise Chef, has also agreed to come in and teach a healthy cooking lesson. With the support of local markets, they hope to donate to local food banks with meals created with fresh produce from their Tower Garden.
Students were able to Skype with the creator of the Tower Garden, Tim Blank. Their class felt honored to have been able to Skype with Tim, as he has never Skyped with an elementary class before. It was an inspiring and powerful lesson for Mrs. Dweck’s students who took notes throughout the visit. Tim agreed to connect the class with other Tower Garden humanitarians who will share/teach Mrs. Dweck’s students on how to give back to the community.
Students also Skyped with another vertical growing system creator from Grove Labs. Students took notes during both Skype interviews and will discuss, compare, and contrast the two systems. The Grove Lab uses a connected aquarium with fish to feed the plants.
Look for Willow Lane Elementary in the news! Students received an on air shout out from WFMZ meteorologist, Lauren Kusik!