In conjunction with Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, grades Pre K- Fourth Grade have entered The Fairchild Tropical Gardens School Garden Challenge. The Fairchild Challenge is an award-winning, interdisciplinary, environmental science competition designed to engage students to explore the natural world. The program has been recognized as a benchmark for exceptional STEM education and for empowering learners to become the next generation of scientists, researchers, educated voters, policy makers, and environmentally-minded citizens. Our challenge was to design and implement a school garden that appeals to: sound, sight, taste, smell and touch, and includes plants of various shapes, sizes, colors and textures. 

Last week all classes spent time in the garden with Asha Bertsch, a post graduate fellow at Yale University with a  B.A. in Botany from the University of Florida. Kindergarteners planted seeds and butterfly plants. First Graders created a recycled parts sculpture, Second Graders designed  garden pavers and drew the garden’s plan (they enlisted the help of a local architect and learned about blueprints, scale and more!)Third and Fourth Graders will create a narrated video tour of the school garden showcasing how our garden increases sensory experiences and is accessible for all its visitors. The Pre K community designed wind chimes and pavers. Our recent visit to Fairchild Gardens inspired our learners and gave them context and experience by visiting the garden instead of just seeing photos or learning about gardens in a textbook and worksheet.. The elementary level will be hosting a garden night for families to experience our new beautiful school garden. Stay tuned for more details.