Our school was able to get a grant to have a greenhouse at our school. I am looking for ideas of how to use the greenhouse as a supplement to teaching science, especially during winter months.
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A greenhouse can be useful in many subjects. Obviously biology students can study the plants and how they grow, and do experiments in and outside the greenhouse. English classes can write poetry and stories about the flowers and the way the plants make them feel.
What's great about this (our school has one too) is that you can run long term studies and experiments in science and horticulture, foster year long projects by students, use it to grow starter plants for FFA fundraisers, and get students hands on, practical experience that is not weather dependent or expensive.
Something else you could do with this is start a greenhouse club. You will be amazed at how many kids will actually want to be a part of this. The school my daughter goes to has this and she has been going for years. She is in high school now but she frequently goes to the middle school to help out with the greenhouse there. It's also a great way for kids to interact and meet new people. They get to feel like they are making a difference.
Is the greenhouse heated? If it is, you can have students research what plants will best grow in a certain ambient temperature in relationship to sunlight strength/time availability. Plant them and record their growth.
If the greenhouse is not heated, a number of experiments can be undertaken to test which materials inside or outside the greenhouse affect heat gathering and retention. Even in the depth of winter, the sun can be a surprising source of heat.
Just a daily record and graph of the temperature and maybe the relative humidity inside an unheated greenhouse can be an excellent project. And it would be good to start it as soon as possible.
If you are studying an ecology unity, the greenhouse would give you an excellent opportunity to test out different elements' impact on plant growth. I would even argue that having students interact and plant something, anything, noting changes in soil temperature, light exposure, or other features could be vital in developing awareness of ecological concepts and can meet many standards in this content.
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