At Mala ‘ai: the culinary garden of Waimea Middle School, FoodCorps service memeber Miss Seri is turning the garden into a live action laboratory. A group of 6th grade science students had the opportunity to learn about soil chemistry in the garden. Students learned about atoms and the importance of nitrogen for both plants’ and our health. Miss Seri taught us “ chemistry is all around us” and “we are all made of the same stuff”! Keeping this in mind students went around the garden comparing various pink colored test tubes and hypothesizing why some soils are different. After a fun class some students were even inspired to pursue science in the future, “ I want to study science!”, one middle schooler exclaimed. Working in the garden not only lets kids get outside but is also a much more exciting and interactive way for them to see and experience chemistry outside of textbooks. In the words of one wise 6th grade student, “ “its better than paperwork!”.
By Bethan Paquin