Brewer’s students are growing knowledge

Published 4:36 pm Monday, November 29, 2010

Wilson Elementary School teacher Brooke Brewer’s class smiles proudly behind the plants they are growing in class.

The first graders at Wilsonville Elementary School are learning and growing strong minds. They recently began doing an interesting AMSTI Science unit on plants.

Brooke Brewer is a first-grade teacher at WES and teaches her students the importance of nutritious vegetables and healthy eating habits.

In the classroom, the students got to grow different plants and study which environments the plants thrived in most.

“I hope that teaching students how to grow vegetables will encourage them to plant their own gardens at home with nutritious vegetables and encourage healthy eating habits for not only each student, but his or her family, as well,” Brewer said.

Some of the grasses the students have planted and are taking care of are brassica grass, rye grass and alfalfa.

The vegetables they grew were things like carrots, cauliflower, apple gourds, oat and wheat. A few days ago, they also planted potatoes that they will let grow for the rest of the year.

“We will not check the progress of our potatoes until the end of the year so the students can see how much a potato can grow,” Brewer said.

Her class also learned how to root different plants and each student will be given the opportunity to take home the plant they rooted and plant it in their own yards.

There were special heating lamps used to help make the plants grow faster than usual. The first-grades experimented with manmade light, sunlight, and no light at all to see which worked best for growing the grass.

The students observed that the alfalfa that stayed in natural sunlight grew just as quickly as the grass under the heat lamps, although the grass under the lamps was much greener and softer, and the grass, which was left alone in no light, hardly grew at all.

The students looked forward to “mowing their yards” weekly as they loved to use scissors to snip their rye grass when it got too tall.

“We will be continuing this for a couple more weeks and then in March go to a farm and pick vegetables and cook them with a chef,” Brewer said.

Jones Valley Urban Farm is where they plan to travel later on this school year to pick vegetables from Jones Valley g