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RBMS Receives a Tower Garden

At the beginning of the school year, science teachers Ms. Pape and Ms. Maiello wrote a grant through the Kids for Conservation Program at Monmouth Conservation Foundation. The grant was for a Tower Garden which is valued at approximately $1,000. All middle schools in Monmouth County were eligible to apply for the grant and about 37 of them did. Out of the 37, six were chosen to receive the Tower Garden. On November 13th, Red Bank Middle School was given notice that they were awarded the grant.

The Tower Garden includes indoor growing lights and the supplies needed to operate the unit and garden for the duration of the school year. Monmouth Conservation Foundation staff and the Tower Garden Company, Tower Garden by Juice Plus+, will provide technical assistance and lesson plans to the science teachers in order to implement the unit into the New Jersey Science Standards curriculum.  Monmouth Conservation Foundation will also conduct a school visit to observe the Tower Garden in action and converse with students about the importance of sustainability, conservation, and how students can take action to effectuate change.

The Tower Garden lends itself to the students in a number of ways. The students will be participating in the Tower Garden Challenge. This will invite students to consider what they eat, where it comes from and what resources were needed to produce it. Students will collect data, take specific and accurate measurements, manage variables and make detailed observations. Each student will maintain a running record that visually represents their findings in their Interactive Notebooks. Next Generation Science Standards will be addressed with the students through real-world experiences. The main goal of using the Tower Garden in class is to make students aware of the sustainability of aeroponics and have them see it in action right in front of their eyes.

On November 27th, Ms. Pape, Ms. Maiello, Mrs. Iozzi, and Mr. Pierson attended the  Let’s Grow Together – Tower Garden Training event at Barlow’s Flower Farm in Sea Girt to receive the Tower Garden. This is an amazing opportunity and hands-on learning activity for the middle school students. The students are already eager to build the tower and begin their investigations.