Get Real with School Gardens - Explore the Successes and Failures of the Carriel Garden in O'Fallon, IL
The Carriel Garden is a space where students can explore and experiment in nature while learning about connections to society and citizenship. Starting from a school-wide lunch waste worm composting program, the Carriel Garden has flourished into problem-based learning experience for more than just science classes. This session focuses on the success and failures we have encountered along the way in creating a native pollinator patch, vegetable garden, and small school greenhouse at a junior high school in southern Illinois. The presenter, Mrs. Mellenthin, will share lessons she has experienced first hand with her 7th grade science students from learning the escape routines of monarch caterpillars, how to compost outside in Illinois winters, navigating the local farmers market to sell student grown plants, and techniques for running from gophers, deer, and other garden surprises. ;) Topics addressed in the session will include funding solutions, community connections, staff buy in, summer support, STEM connections, and many lessons learned. The session will end with an opportunity for participants to network with others, ask questions, and formulate solutions for their own school projects.
Takeaways: Attendees will gain practical examples of problem based learning in a school garden and gain ideas on how to set up or tackle issues in their own school garden spaces.
Amanda Mellenthin (Carriel Junior High School: O Fallon, IL)