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Outdoor classroom help Superior students garden and learn - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Outdoor classroom help Superior students garden and learn

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SUPERIOR - Spring-like temperatures are drawing Superior Elementary School students outside to work on a special project.

Students are spending time in their outdoor classroom using gardening to learn about science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

“What we did, is for science, we have measured the width and depth of this, and we planted strawberries in it, and so right now for engineering we’re allowed to use hula hoops, sort of like a cloth, and stakes to make a planter cover so birds can’t get in to eat the strawberries,” said fourth grade student Maggie Hayworth.

The garden is designed to show students where their food comes from, from beginning to end, according to K-6 elementary school principal Logan Labbe. Students said that many of the materials are reused or recycled, like milk cartons that are now being used to sprout seeds.

“I thought it was interesting because I kinda like it, like, we’re recycling, like, not like, just throwing it away. We can recycle it. I like that part about like, reusing stuff,” said fourth grade student Jenna Mellen.

Labbe said that over the past three years, the school has gathered funding from grants, school-wide Title I monies, and 21st Century afterschool program money -- as well as contributions from the community. Many of the supplies for this project, from the wood to the fencing, were donated.

“It was just an idea that’s blossomed into this amazing outdoor learning environment for these kids to get out of the classroom, and just take them to another level of learning that you don’t always get in a small district," Labbe said.

"This is, for us, to get something done like this, took a lot of sweat, a lot of planning, a lot of time. And now that it is here, the teachers are just taking off with it, it's really cool,” Labbe added.

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