When people think of a greenhouse, they usually picture large greenhouses operated by commercial nurseries. But there are greenhouses run by local vegetable growers, hobby gardeners and there are even school greenhouses. If you haven’t seen one, school greenhouses are a novel way to improve education. However, the benefits must be weighed against practical concerns. For educators looking to add an alternative to traditional education, school greenhouses offer a few benefits.
Learning with participation
One of the things that makes greenhouses such a great asset for learning is that they provide a hands-on learning experience. Children learn about the life cycle and stages of plants by helping them grow and using school greenhouses in hands-on experiments. It’s one thing to see a picture of a plant in a textbook, but it’s another experience to be able to see a real plant up close and learn about the parts of a flower, how pollination works, or examine leaves. If you have hydroponics in your greenhouse, children can see root systems while you explain how they work. For those who learn best with hands-on experience, school greenhouses can greatly enhance the learning process.
Fun for the school community
In addition to the educational benefits, school greenhouses offer new opportunities for extracurricular activities as well as something to brag about in the school newsletter. A gardening club that meets before or after school could give kids the opportunity to start a lifelong hobby of gardening and learning how to grow flowers, fruits, and vegetables. And the results can be showpieces at school events like open houses.
Of course, the thing about school greenhouses is that you have to have a budget for it. School greenhouses can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to build, and that doesn’t include other maintenance costs. In order to install these at your school, you need to convince the school board that the budget is worth it.
One thing to consider when designing school greenhouses, and ultimately the cost, is the climate you live in and how you will structure the use of the greenhouse throughout the school year. For example, school greenhouses in Florida may not require much equipment to function, even in the winter, while in Vermont, additional heaters may still need to be installed if you intend to use it throughout the school year. Despite the expense and hassle of working out the logistics for installing school greenhouses, they can add an exciting new activity to educational environments at all levels.
Thanks to Ann Marier | #Educational #Benefits #School #Greenhouses