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Students Learn Science With Classroom Garden and Menagerie

Fifty junior high students in Bloomington, Illinois are participating in a project sustaining four indoor gardens using hydroponics, a method of growing pants with recycled water and clay.

The project aims to teach students "about ecosystems, the water cycle, plants ... and the food chain," organizer Jayme Corcoran told The project also includes caring for several rescue animals.

Students are growing edible plants like cilantro, lettuce and oregano, which they feed to the animals. They take care of three guinea pigs, two chinchillas, two hamsters, a gecko, a hedgehog, and a turtle. Students have responded with overwhelming positivity and interest to the project.

"It really helps you learn how to garden on your own, and I learned chinchillas clean themselves with (dust)," said Maureena Terven, a sixth-grader at Bloomington Junior High School.

The Pantagraph reported: "Corcoran said the project would have been impossible without Beyond the Books grand funding; teachers Emily McCready, Kelly Slater and Kayla Smith offering to host gardens in their rooms; and advice from local gardeners and businesses, including Normal [Ill.] hydroponics supplier There It Grows."

Read the full story.

By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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