Students growing their own vegetables in the classroom with ‘AeroGardens’


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – When you think of a garden you probably think of it being outside. But students in the Sioux Falls School District are growing veggies from the convenience of their classrooms.

The plants may look small now, but soon you’ll see tomatoes and even lettuce.

RISE students at George McGovern Middle School started these ‘aero gardens’ about two weeks ago.

“This aero garden has a display on top and you follow the directions and fill a pan, or the base with water, and there’s little pods that you stick in and follow the directions,” special education teacher at George McGovern Middle School, Sarah Henrichs said.

Teachers at middle and high schools in the district wrote a grant to get the aero gardens set up in their classrooms.

“The Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation awards a number of grants to teachers who want to give kids hands-on, immersive opportunities in the classroom and we call this our Public School Proud grant program, Sarah and a group of teachers in the district received about $6,000 to purchase these seed kits,” executive director of Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation, Allison Struck said.

These seed kits are unique, using hydroponics instead of soil to grow.

“The plants grow in water as their structure instead of your typical soil kits,” Henrichs said.

Eventually, students will harvest their veggies.

“We’ve started to prep saying we are going to eat some fresh lettuce and tomatoes and that will be the next step of getting them to eat healthy fruits and vegetables,” Henrichs said.

Last year, the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation was able to award 44 Proud grants to 67 educators, giving out about $108,000 through the program.

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