Middle School News
Seed Sustainability: A Cross-Curricular Project
Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School is currently partaking in a unique project throughout the semester. Melissa Breed-Parks, MS/HS gardener, is working with the eighth grade class on a cross curricular project utilizing seeds from the Middle School garden. Throughout the Communication Arts “Home-Grown” unit, students have paired the fiction novel Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman with Will Allen’s nonfiction book, The Good Food Revolution. Both novels examine how people can engage in creating and sustaining communities. Students have extended their learning by researching what makes a good seed packet, comparing and contrasting various seed packets, and designing and filling their own seed packets with 29 varieties of seeds from the garden. The criteria for the student created seed packets were the inclusion of the name of the plant (including its Latin name), a brief description and drawing of the plant, and growing instructions.
In Science class, students conducted an experiment designed to determine the effects of one week’s worth of cell phone radiation on the germination rate and growth of turnip seeds. The experimental group taped seeds to their cellular phones and carried them around for one week. The control group carried around seeds taped to an index card. Students collected data and determined that both the germination rate and the growth rate were lower for the turnip seeds taped to the cell phones than they were for the seeds taped to the index cards.
The integration of seeds into the curriculum continued in other classes as well. During Math, students cleaned and counted seeds. They then used mathematical principles to project the number of plants that could be produced in three generations if they were to grow out all of the seeds that they counted. Students discovered that this exponential growth rate could lead to billions of new plants.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.