Spring has sprung for elementary students in Humble ISD. This spring the 26 elementary campuses in Humble ISD are participating in a national project titled ‘Journey North.’ A grant from Waste Management purchased a tulip bulb for every kindergarten student to plant, care for and monitor as winter gives way to spring. In this national program, kindergarteners across the northern hemisphere track the growth of the ‘Red Emperor’ tulip as the seasons change. They explore factors that influence the growth and life cycle of the plants while also understanding the other seasonal changes that are simultaneous occurring. “In Journey North, our students are sharing data with students across the nation,” Alison Pierce, elementary science coordinator for the district said. “They understand the importance of making detailed observations and taking accurate measurements because students in other states are depending on Humble’s work to forecast the arrival of spring. The Journey North project is completely designed to have students outside completing scientific field work.” The tulips on the 26 campuses have been planted in raised gardening beds previously donated by Waste Management and have been a party of the district gardening initiative for all grade levels for the past several years. The school district’s science department has been continually supported by generous grants from Waste Management which supports not only the gardening at the elementary level but also science instruction in the classroom as well as materials which support quality instruction. The Journey North project provides children with opportunities to experience and learn in a natural setting. This focus aligns perfectly with the state’s new science TEKS that promotes more real-world investigations for students. “When students are engaged in meaningful hands-on scientific challenges, it promotes ownership to a project,” Amy Davis, Endowed Chair Educator for Humble ISD stated. “ It makes them more invested in their own learning.” Peggy Clarey, Maplebrook Elementary kindergarten teacher, stated, “My students are very quick to point out which tulip is ‘theirs’. They are very protective of their own plants and proud of their efforts.” Caption for Photo: Peggy Clarey, Maplebrook Elementary kindergarten teacher discusses how to plant a bulb with a few of her students.

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