Day two for the students started off with a service project in the greenhouse on top of Ellison Hall. Dr. Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah, the director of the Center for STEM and associate professor of ecology, gave the students a tour of the greenhouse and the different plants that are growing there. For the service project, the students helped move some of the plants and cleaned the greenhouse by disposing deceased plants into a compost pile. The compost pile will be used as fertilizer to grow more plants. The greenhouse isn’t just for the university however. People from the community are allowed to start their gardens in the greenhouse, and then eventually move them to the community where they might sell them to a farmer’s market or to the people of the neighborhood. After the students cleaned the greenhouse, they were allowed to plant their own seeds and them home to grow.
The second half of the day included the students receiving cross-curricular instruction for the day. The students were introduced to Schoology, which is a virtual learning environment for K-12 education that allows the user to manage and create academic content. The students gained knowledge about what Information Technology is and a better understanding of how computers work. The students also watched videos that displayed different ways technology can be used and what jobs involve Information Technology. Not only did the students get the see the greenhouse and learn more about Information Technology, they also got a chance to meet the guest speaker for the day.
Mr. Keith Norris, also known as the man who loves dirt, visited the new group of students as the guest speaker. Mr. Norris started off by showing the students the film Dirt! The Movie. Dirt! The Movie, showed the students all the different ways that dirt can be used. After watching the film and hearing Mr. Norris speak, the students were able to get a better understanding of how the earth, and dirt, works. This new knowledge will allow them to successfully grow the seeds they planted earlier in the greenhouse. Overall, I think the students had a wonderful time learning about plants and how important they are to the earth and human life.
Written and Photographed by Onnia Thomas
Majoring in Computer Information Systems, Onnia is a STEM Camp 2019 intern and rising senior at Virginia Union University.