The YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas School Age Service is helping plant seeds at Lakeside Elementary in Coppell.  Last fall Lisa Timmerman, a Gifted and Talented Specialist at Lakeside was exploring grant funding for a Tower Garden® to teach about aeroponic growing methods. Tower Garden® simplifies traditional gardening, using a unique vertical garden system that makes it easy to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables at home or school. Without much luck on funding, the Y stepped in with help from a recent donation.  Mark Mills, a long time YMCA supporter had just donated several tower gardens to the Dallas YMCA to place in local Dallas Ys and with other community partners.  Lakeside Elementary where the YMCA has an onsite afterschool program seemed like a perfect match. 

The Tower Garden® will be used at Lakeside as a Project Based Learning (PBL) project.  The Tower Garden® Challenge PBL will allow 3rd-5th learners to compare traditional growing methods using Lakeside’s garden to aeroponic growing methods using our Tower Garden.   Learners will collaborate to support or disprove the company’s claim that a Tower Garden will produce more yield, use less water, and less land. Students will design and conduct science experiments, manage variables, and draw conclusions about this claim.  They will consider the future implications of aeroponic growing methods, and real-life applications to the city of Coppell.  Learners will also present their findings to authentic stakeholders, utilizing future-ready skills. 

The YMCA and Lakeside Elementary look forward to seeing the results of the students' work.