Applied Science class building a greenhouse to support backpack program
Applied Science class building a greenhouse to support backpack program
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Students in the new Applied Science and Technology class at Pattonville High School are designing, building and planting a garden and greenhouse at their school as part of a year-long learning project. It's an innovative approach to teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects while also emphasizing critical thinking and soft skills needed for future success in the workplace. Food from the garden will be donated to the school's food backpack program to provide healthy eating alternatives for students who need food support for evenings and weekends.

The greenhouse project is student-led, with support from science teacher Amy Schwendemann. Students had to design and present their ideas for the garden and greenhouse to school administrators for approval. They also researched scientific topics such as soil conditions and the best times to plant crops. In addition, they used their communication skills to write and call community business owners for donations to support their project. They received initial donations of supplies and equipment from Branneky True Value Hardware and Fred Webber Inc. Schwendemann said students in her two sections of the class have already had to use or research a variety of STEM skills and knowledge, including engineering, math, physics, biology and geology.

The Applied Science and Technology course is a problem-based learning course focusing on current science topics. Students work in teams to develop critical thinking and solve problems. The course also aims to generate excitement about the field of science and to build students' awareness of the tremendous demand for soft skills in the workplace. Students must have two years of high school science, including biology, to sign up for the class.

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