Paul Heasley, agricultural educator at State College High School in State College, Pa., needed a way to teach elementary students about sustainability and vegetable production, while meeting the students at their learning level. Heasley came up with a "Grow House" that would be similar to a playhouse structure, made of hog panels, zip ties, and live plants.
After assembling the house shaped structure Heasley and his students placed it in the elementary school's garden and planted plants around the house's perimeter which grew up to create the walls and roof.
This project serves as the service learning connection between Heasley's program and the elementary students in the district, as well as a teaching tool that allows Heasley to integrate National Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster Content Standards into his curriculum. The project also integrates the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics model into his instruction and allows Heasley to easily present concepts of vegetable production to teach the students the benefits of gardening while providing a play space.