When brainstorming ideas for this project, a new greenhouse for my school was always towards the top of my list. Although we currently have a greenhouse that was built a few years ago, it is tiny, not well kept, and almost never used! I conducted some brief interviews with some of my peers and teachers and not everyone even knows we have a greenhouse! My concept for the new greenhouse would go beyond just a simple structure with plants. Attached would be a storage shed, two classrooms, and a common lounge area to emphasize the educational opportunities of this project.
Greenhouses can have a significant impact on education and learning, especially in schools. Not only do greenhouses promote hands-on learning experiences for students of all ages, but working in a calming and fun environment for a class or two throughout the day can boost energy levels and positivity. Also, having a functioning garden on campus can promote healthful eating habits and tendencies for the future. Finally, allowing students to walk through a room of beautiful plants and various flora after learning about them minutes before in an adjacent classroom provides a unique learning experience. It is much easier for students to grasp concepts when there are the real-world examples an arm’s reach away.
When envisioning this greenhouse on our campus, there will be a calm and clean environment that will relax students, teachers and anyone else who uses the space. This project will have a soft mood with plenty of natural light and green throughout the space. This will hopefully help the space to feel like a lounge and relaxation space rather than the hectic environment seen in the main part of our school. Here are some of the many projects, photos and mood boards that have helped me envision this project.
The new Greenhouse learning facility will be located in Columbus, Ohio, USA on Columbus Academy’s campus. The facility will not be limited to students and faculty of Columbus Academy, though, but will instead be open to the surrounding community and anyone who is interested in learning, exploring or simply relaxing. This project will most likely be located where the old greenhouse is now, behind the dining hall. There is a large, level-ground area with a beautiful forest to the North and the school campus to the other sides.
The plan for the project consists of a greenhouse, 2 classrooms, a common lounge area/break space, and a storage shed. Initially, this project was simply going to be a new greenhouse for my school to replace our current one. After presenting this to my friends and peers, however, the project transformed into a new educational facility complete with classrooms and learning spaces to further encourage hands on learning.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of greenhouses and hands-on learning in schools, here are some links which you may find useful.