The Indianapolis Project School

Improving Communities One Garden At A Time

The Indianapolis Project School

Our goal

A collaboration of three primary classrooms (2nd/3rd grade) from The Indianapolis Project School recently engaged in a project that incorporated multiple subjects and community involvement.

The primary goal for this project was to raise awareness to the lack of access to cheap and healthy foods within the surrounding school community. Several other goals related to this project included learning about responsible economics, identifying stages of the life cycle of plants, figuring out what factors allow for the best growth of plants, and using measurement and modeling to determine the best way to construct raised beds.

How we are doing it

Students began this process by studying about the life cycle of a plant and experimenting with various methods of growing plants. They used independent experiments to identify the best way to grow plants, and then used this knowledge to grow multiple trays of vegetables. The trays of vegetables were used for various purposes.

Students sold the first trays of these plants to help raise funds to purchase materials to build raised beds. They spent time studying about various aspects of economics to support the after school 'store' they started to sell plants and raise funds to purchase supplies. The other plants were grown to be used in the raised beds that were being distributed to community volunteer host.

Students then implemented their best art skills to create posters generating interest in our project and trying to identify local community volunteers to host a free raised garden bed. Once host were identified students began the build process.

Third grade students spent a significant amount of time in math class identifying the best measurements for the raised beds. They figured out measurements for cutting each board, identified area and perimeter to figure out how many plants could be placed in each bed, and learned about volume to help determine the number of bags of soil that needed to be placed in each raised bed. Once all of these measurements were determined students, families, and community volunteers came to help build raised beds and install them throughout the community.

What we are learning

Throughout this project students are engaging in multiple facets of social studies, science, and math.

Students began the this project by studying about all stages of a plant's life cycle and environmental factors that improve plant growth.

Students then studied about responsible economics to help them create and run a small after school store that sold plants. Students used the money raised in the store to buy supplies for building raised beds.

The final learning experience was related to students measuring wood and modeling raised beds to figure out the best method for construction. They then identified area, perimeter, and volume of the beds to determine how many plants could be placed in each garden.

School Information

School: The Indianapolis Project School
Grade level: K-5
Number of students in your project: 70
Subjects: Math Science Social Science
Number of students in your school: 270
Project initiator: Michael Rawert, Teacher

Contact Information

Michael Rawert, Primary Teacher (2nd/3rd grade)
1145 East 22nd Street  Indianapolis,  Indiana  46202

© 2004-2015
Center for Ecoliteracy. All rights reserved.