New greenhouse class introduced

Camille Gooden, Staff Writer

This year, a new greenhouse class was introduced. The class is taught by Hele science teacher, Mr. Dick.

He says, “Greenhouse was under construction when I came, (4 years ago). When they finished building last year, I started growing food inside the greenhouse.”

In the greenhouse, the students grow cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and more. They also do assignments and in-person work in the greenhouse.

Alex Bartleson, a student from the class said, “I enjoy growing plants in the class and the labs.”  In greenhouse class, students are to  create a lab and design an experiment based on the plants, water, or growing conditions. When the students experiment with plants, they make a lab and have weekly updates on what happens as they test their hypotheses. 

This new extracurricular class gives students on-hand learning experiments instead of being online or on an electronic.

Mr. Dick had said, “I love teaching greenhouse class; I love seeing the students have an ‘Ah-Ha!’ moment when learning.”

He adds that he likes to see the joy that planting brings students and the pride and excitement that students express when something that started as a seed grows into something edible.

In Greenhouse class, kids get to taste-test the food they grew and also give the food to the cooking classes. Students also get to bring home what they have created to show parents.

Students were responsible for deciding what to plant, ordering seeds, planting, and then maintaining good growing conditions. This includes testing the pH and a nutritient meter to see how the water is doing during classes.  In addition to planting and monitoring the growing conditions, students are also responsible for keeping the greenhouse clean. This involves changing the water bins, adding chemicals if needed, sweeping, picking dead leaves, wiping down the glass, and more.


Now, students are working on the hydroponic towers. Students are now planting cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, shiso, spinach, and basil. And they will grow more as the school year continues, maybe even pumpkins.

The greenhouse class has collaborated with other courses. For example, this quarter, the students worked with 6th graders on Team Phoenix to harvest milkweed seeds from the plants.

The ceramics class completed a project in which they designed labels for the greenhouse so that students and visitors can tell the difference among the variety of items being grown.

For the future of the greenhouse, they might start adding  plants like pumpkins, jalapenos, kale or ginger.