The Grow.Believe.Be Succulent project began on April 19, 2021 and concluded May 10, 2021. The projects are wrapping up and will be taken home around May 24, 2021. This project made a positive impact and excitement for not only the 184 students participating, but others in the building.
Two hundred succulents were purchased from Mountain Crest Gardens & Nursery in California. Their personnel there provided exceptional service, information and a speedy delivery. The plants were of a mixed variety to allow the students the opportunity to explore succulents and select one they liked.
The other materials needed for this project were obtained in a variety of ways. Dirt and sand was generously donated by the school’s maintenance department. The students were able to hand mix the sand and dirt to make a succulent friendly mixture. The lids from the Styrofoam lunch containers were decided to be used for the container. Students were able to repurpose their clean lids from lunch into this project. It worked perfectly and allowed monies to be used on modeling materials. The mini figures were created from plasticine and a variety of crafty materials purchased from Amazon. The plasticine was excellent to work with. It allowed us to roll, bend, twist and shape animals, reptiles, houses and other items. Crafty items like pipe cleaners, sticks, pompoms and googley eyes were added to the mini figures before allowing it to air dry and harden.
Before this project began, the students and STEAM teacher discussed what a succulent is and why it is different from a “regular” plant. Students were amazed to learn that they can suck and store water for weeks without needing drinks and that their leaves can be snapped off to be regrown! There were even pieces carefully snapped off and are growing their own roots already!
The project allowed for a lot of individual design and investigation. Some kids redesigned their containers to allow for better drainage to prevent root rot and over watering by poking holes in one and stacking on top of a gravel filled second. How smart! Ultimately, students are all encouraged to replant and transfer to a more permanent container once the plant is taken home.
Two weeks were spent creating the figures and designing the mini gardens. It was a little tricky with the state testing, but the kids were happy to do something relaxing and fun. Gardening is proven to be a stress reliever and I am glad I was able to provide that activity for them. We also were able to experiment with the sunshine. The Students designed lizards, snakes and crocodiles from sticks, pipe cleaners and special UV sensitive beads. This showed them that the sun has energy and plants and animals can use this energy in good or bad ways. They were challenged with protecting their animal from sunburn. Since succulents live in desserts and arid climates this helped add a little bit of science and fun to the garden. It now will color change in the sunshine!
The students and teacher loved this project and felt it was truly something that the kids all needed. It provided laughs, creativity and sparked many good questions. Since the plants and individual garden ideas were all unique the gardens all looked different, but one remark in common would be “it was fun!”
I sincerely THANK the Beaver County Educational Trust and Lincoln Learning Solutions for selecting our project and allowing us to explore and LOVE the succulents! Thank you!