Garden brings real-world skills and hands-on learning

Garden brings real-world skills and hands-on learning

Career center juniors show off the Tower Garden they built as an environmental science project. Chyanne Drake, left, Ashland, criminal justice; Maxwell Webb, Ashland, animal and veterinary science; and Jewels Rose, West Holmes, criminal justice.


Through a grant written by Kelly Harris of Juice Plus and funded by the Ashland County Community Foundation, Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center’s environmental science students are growing greens and herbs as part of a project-based learning assignment. Science instructor Julie Subler is directing the hands-on assignments.

The Tower Garden uses vertical aeroponic technology and LEDs to grow plants indoors in a small area without soil.

The first crop is almost ready for harvesting, and the students will calculate biomass produced, determine if this process is carbon neutral and also will get to sample the culinary delights of the kale, arugula, bok choy, and other gourmet lettuces and herbs being cultivated.

The Tower Garden is providing multiple ways for career center students to explore different scientific principles. Subler’s chemistry class will work to identify the ionic compound formulations used in the water that is pumped up the tower to feed the plants, and cosmetology science students are monitoring pH levels in the water as they study the functions of the acid mantle in human skin.

Subler said, “We are integrating technology, real-world skills and hands-on learning into both our technical labs and our academic curricula.”

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