Grade 5-Earth Spheres and the inquiry garden

ISP’s 5th-grade students are currently exploring Earth’s Sciences. Key understandings for this unit include:

  • All living things need oxygen, nutrients & light energy.
  • How matter and energy is passed from the Sun to plants & animals.
  • How matter is being recycled & returned back to the environment.

In order to help students develop a deeper understanding, they have cultivated their very own inquiry garden. Beginning by researching a local species of plant, they searched for seedlings around campus, planting them in the student designed planters which they have created using recycled materials. The Inquiry Garden is a learning space that students will continue developing, maintaining, and learning from throughout the year.

Students have also been busy applying their research and learning to a hands-on STEM project, building a Biodome modelled on a local ecosystem.

Designs included local species of plants and insects, recycled & repurposed materials. Students have developed their designs through a combination of research, personal experience, and community connections, including a presentation from an ISP family who own and operate an avocado farm.

Students have been concentrating on human impact on the environment. Discussions and research, on both a global and local perspective, have led to students to calculate their own Ecological Footprint in order to measure their own personal impact. You can evaluate your own Eco-footprint by completing the https://islandwood.org/footprint-calculator/Ecological Footprint & Calculator.

High School student, Isabella Hietavirta introduced students to a new APP called PlantSnap. This APP that uses an algorithm to identify plants and trees from images taken using student iPads. Students take pictures of plants around ISP campus, identifying and evaluating the results provided by the APP.  For their culminating assignment, students are using PlantSnap and online research skills to learn more about one specific species of plant. They will plan, create, and share this information in a video via a QR code.  Community members can scan the QR codes around campus to learn more about that species of plant.