Project 3 - The Science Garden

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Wendy Flood
(wflood@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

Eric Hiscock
(eghiscoc@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

School: St. Mary's Elementary School
124 Waterford Bridge Rd.
St. John's, NF
A1E 1C9
Tel: (709) 753-9892
Fax: (709) 753-9220
Grade Level: Kindergarten - Grade 6
Number of Students: 220
Project Start and Finish Dates: Spring 1998 onward

  Project Overview

The school is in the process of designing a science garden to allow all students through their science curriculum and a Gardening Club to plant seeds, shrubs, trees etc. After having done the planting, than to be able to observe the growth of these plants, as well as the identification of them. Also to be able to see what insects and birds are attracted to the garden.

In addition to being able to observe what is happening, the children will be able to keep records of these and report them by using the technology base that is available to them in the Leaming Resource Center and their classrooms.

Children will have to maintain care of the garden with regards to the weeding and fertilizing of the soil. Care will even have to be given over the summer with watering, etc. and volunteers will be solicited to do this.

In preparing the garden, the children will also develop through the Gardening Club a site beautification plan for the school and planting will take place around the schoolyard.

For the idea of the Science Garden the school received a $450.00 grant from the Canadian Wildlife Federation to enhance the project to provide a habitat for local birds and insects.

Goals:

As a result of their involvement in this project, students will:

  • learn how to collect, interpret, evaluate, organize and present scientific data from the environment
  • gain an appreciation for the design of the science garden
  • identify this garden as a creation of their own hands as well as it being an ecosystem for not only the plants but the insects and birds
  • develop a sense of responsibility in relation to the environment

  Curriculum Connections

Science

students will:

  • plant, observe and record their work o classify seeds, insects and plants
  • identify the basic requirements of any habitat - food, shelter, space, etc.

Social Studies

students will:

  • Students will gain an understanding ofhow people everywhere satisfy their basic needs interacting with their natural environment
  • examine the animal and plant communities and note and record their interactions.

Process Skills:

Students will:

  • collect and organize data from the environment
  • construct and interpret tables and graphs
  • draw meaningful conclusions
  • do creative writing samples based on their observations
  • develop note taking techniques

<  Resource Connections

Students will use a variety of print, non-print and human resources throughout this project. We have already established a connection with the St. John's Clean and Beautiful group as well as the Provincial Department of Forestry and Lands to assist us with tree planting. Upon close examination of our school site we have been made aware of trees that are not native to Newfoundland. Part of the school site at one time belonged to the Tessier family who had large greenhouses and flower beds. Children will have to examine these trees and shrubs and with assistance and instruction will have to identify the tree types. Other trees and shrubs that will be planted will have to go through the same process.

The Stellar Schools Internet connection will enable students to do research on the WWW, share information and exchange information with students at other sites. We have two computers in every classroom and will soon have 6 computers in the Leaming Resource Center on the school network which will enable students and teachers to have Internet access.

Students will post their results, pictures and findings to the school web page. Students will use:

  • Flatbed scanner
  • Digital camera (on loan)
  • Computers in classrooms and Leaming Resource Centre
  • Internet connection to WWW using Netscape
  • HTML web page creation on school web site
  • Word processing

  Evaluation

The leaming outcomes previously stated will be the ones used to evaluate students. The teachers will be expected to continually observe the children's work in the garden. Students will be expected to keep accurate records of their work and observations. Groups, as well as individual decision making will be an important aspect of compiling and organizing data.

As a result of this project the students knowledge base will be greatly increased in dealing with the soil, flowers, trees, insects and birds. We would hope that the children will develop a real appreciation for nature and in doing so enhance their own leaming. The Internet will connect them with other groups and individuals who share their interest in and concern for the environment.

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