Students get ready to garden

Mar 1, 2023 | Mountain Gardening

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Julian Bracamontes (l) and Chase Montgomery discuss the next step in building a planter.

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As part of the project, Rebekah Murphy learned to use power tools.

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Sky Nelson, Rebekah Murphy, Bryan Valdez, Chase Montgomery and Julian Bracamontes demonstrate the collaborative skills they gained in this project.

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Tegan Law and Kaleb Martinez hard at work on one of the planters.

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Katherine Patron puts some finishing touches on a planter.

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Alexander Carmona with a small planter.

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Raul Garcia, Ireland DeVries, Brayden Bell and Katherine Patron in front of a planter they built.

(Photos: LaDonna Guzman)

Students get ready to garden

LaDonna Guzman, the new science teacher at Mountain High School, is having her students build raised planters (thanks to a donation by Dave Ficke) in preparation for their science garden.

Here are some reasons Guzman lists for why project-based learning – aka hands-on learning – works.

  1. Collaboration: Relationships formed during collaboration is a huge part of project-based learning. Not only do students learn how to work better in groups – providing their own input, listening to others and resolving conflicts when they arise – they build positive relationships with teachers, which reinforces how great learning is.
  2. Problem Solving: Students learn how to solve problems that are important to them, including learning from mistakes and making corrections.
  3. Creativity: Students apply creative thinking skills to innovate new product designs and possibilities for projects.
  4. In-Depth Understanding: Students build on their research skills and deepen their learning.
  5. Self-Confidence: Students find their voice and learn to take pride in their work, boosting their agency and purpose.
  6. Critical Thinking: Students learn to look at problems with a critical thinking lens, asking questions and coming up with possible solutions for their project.
  7. Perseverance: When working on a project, students learn to manage obstacles more effectively, often learning from failure and making adjustments until they’re satisfied with their work.
  8. Project Management: Students learn how to manage projects and assignments more efficiently.
  9. Curiosity: Students get to explore their curiosities, ask questions and form a new love for learning.
  10. Empowerment: Students take ownership over their projects, reflecting on and celebrating their progress and accomplishments.

“As you can see from the looks on their faces,” Guzman said, “they are taking pride in their accomplishments, following directions and learning real life skills.”



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