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Bronxville Union Free School District

Students Grow and Study ‘Tower Garden’ Vegetables

In their science classes, students at Bronxville Elementary School and Bronxville Middle School are learning about seed germination and plant anatomy while also gaining important lessons about sustainability and healthy eating. Thanks to a generous grant from the Bronxville School Foundation, the students are growing their own herbs and vegetables in a “tower garden,” which is located in their science classrooms.

The tower garden is a vertical, aeroponic growing system that can grow vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers in less than 3 square feet. The garden has no soil and it delivers water through a fountain at the center of the cylinder.

Karen Green, a science teacher at the elementary and middle schools, said her students have helped with the seed germination process and are now growing seven types of plants – tomato, basil, bok choy, arugula, lettuce, pepper and tricolor chard. They’ve also been able to harvest some of the plants and witness how the lettuce, basil and tomato plants can regenerate.

During a recent learning experience as part of a unit on plant growth and development, the students identified the leaves of different plants, studied how they grow and discussed how to classify different types of leaves and plants. Using a dichotomous key, which consists of a series of choices that lead students to the correct name of a given item, the students worked in groups to identify the different leaves.

“This is a real-world, inquiry-based learning experience,” Green said. “We’re able to grow something in a space that’s not necessarily outside or farmed. It’s very applicable for the students, and we’re touching on a lot of different questions that we may not have been able to answer without having something like this to look at.”

Green said the students are also learning about the nutritional value of the plants, which are grown without pesticides. Once they have identified the different leaves, they will conduct a taste test.

  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image