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STEM Grant Provides Tower Garden For 1st Graders

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It's the same technology used by NASA, and now our 1st graders are using aeroponic growing to turn tiny seeds into delicious food for harvest. Thanks to a STEM grant, these lower school students are excited to have a Tower Garden right inside their classrooms. This vertical, indoor garden will teach students about much more than simply growing fruits and vegetables.. these 1st graders will be growing their math, science, language art, and social studies skills as well.  

Here's how it works: students were busy last week soaking the rock-wool and placing the special vermiculite onto the seeds. After filling the reservoir of the Tower Garden, they carefully arranged the seeds under grow lights and will now wait for the seedlings to grow! Once the seedlings are 2-3 inches, they will plant them into the Tower Garden.  

First Grade teacher Melissa Shockley said the enthusiasm of the students is priceless. "We are all so excited for this opportunity and to truly get our "hands on learning" and watch how God grows us HIS way!" 

Mrs. Shockley joined her colleague, Kelsey Nelson, for a training seminar in Phoenix, Arizona this past summer to further their knowledge and understanding of how the Tower Garden works and how to best utilize it in the classroom to increase overall learning. So far, the Tower Garden is a hit.  And Mrs. Shockley says there is even more to look forward to as they use this classroom garden to engage the students, the school, and even the community! 

Posted by Darla Rourk with

3rd Graders Visit Historic Boone Hall Plantation

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Last Monday, the third grade classes enjoyed a lovely May morning at the Boone Hall Plantation. The students heard the history of the plantation dating back to its origins in 1681 when Major John Boone and his wife received the land as a wedding gift. They also learned that over the years Boone Hall Plantation has produced a number of cash crops including lumber, brick, indigo, cotton and pecans and that it houses the oldest building in Mount Pleasant- a smokehouse built with bricks made on the Plantation in 1750. Another interesting fact about the Plantation is that its stable was once home to Princequillo, a Thoroughbred whose progeny includes three Triple Crown winners - Secretariat, Seattle Slew and America Pharoah.

The students also heard a powerful and moving lesson on Gullah history by Ms. Jackie Mikel, the Gullah Gal. Ms. Mikel taught the group that the Gullah culture has its roots in Western Africa because the people there could tolerate the heat of the South and had developed an immunity to malaria which was a problem during the warm months on the plantations. Also, we learned that the slaves dropped parts of their words and spoke quickly so the slave owners couldn't understand them. By doing so, this led to the development of the Gullah/Geechee language.

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