"Your soul is infinitely creative. It is alive and expansive in nature. It is CURIOUS and playful, changing with the tides of time."
My class exemplifies this quote! I have students that come from families that are financially challenged who may not know where their next meal is coming from during the summer months and students that come from the mansions on the hill who have the newest trends to the market.
I tend to have a difficult time getting my lower socioeconomic students to come out of their shell, but when they do, and they realize that my class is a safe place to make mistakes and learn from them .....they take off like a rocket filled with nitrous oxide.
Our current school population is 393 Students, 169 of those kids are deemed at risk, meaning that their scores on testing are below acceptable. We also have 167 students in our school that are bilingual or monolingual and english is not their primary language.
My students have no idea where their food comes from. We started an experiment with just a potato, planting with the eyes down and the eyes up. They were amazed that it has grown 22 inches in 3 weeks. Most of our food in Alaska comes from out of state on barges or is flown into Alaska. I would like to start an Areogarden Farm XL in my class.
I want to dump fuel on the spark that has already spread through my classroom from our first science experiment in farming.
This project will be cross curricular and will grow into our math through measuring and graphing growth of different types of plants, science through forming hypothesis of growth of plant types and testing that hypothesis, and there will be a writing aspect to our observations.
This project will have side benifits as well. Many students here in Alaska have undiagnosed Season Affective Disorder. It is typically diagnosed in adults and not children. This disorder symptoms include, feeling depressed most of the day, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, having low energy, having problems with sleeping, experiencing changes in your appetite or weight,
feeling sluggish or agitated, having difficulty concentrating, feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty, having frequent thoughts of death or suicide. One treatment for Season Affective Disorder is 20 - 60 minutes of exposure to full spectrum lighting. The full spectrum light provided by an Aerogarden Farm XL would counteract many of the negative affects of Season Affective Disorder that may be overlooked in school children.
This project would also ofcourse increase the amount of oxygen in the classroom purifying the air, improving student health, and sharpening their focus.
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