Making their garden grow

Hands-on science activities are helping students at Aspley Special School to keep their kitchen garden in tip-top condition.

Students are tending to their garden filled with edible herbs, fruit and vegetables and are learning more about science, technology, engineering and maths in the process.

Measuring, collecting, recording and analysing data.

Principal Chesleigh Hargreaves said the students measure, collect, record and analyse data around the moisture levels of the soil to work out the watering required for ideal growth.

“They also use their digital blackboard as a meeting place for the students to access the internet to monitor the rainfall and discuss the garden,” Mr Hargreaves said.

The school is a recipient of the Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants program and has used the funds to buy watering accessories and probes that measure moisture.

Using science to help the garden grow

“It is fantastic that we can extend our science learning. The weekly science-based activities challenge students to think beyond the immediate and concrete and use data to determine the watering regime of our large gardens that also provide input into our Home Economics classes and our coffee shop.

“This project helps our students with disabilities engage in science, technology, engineering and maths while also building teacher capability in these vital learning areas.

“The equipment helps to give these students independence and teaches them objectivity. Instead of guessing if the gardens need watering, or following a watering routine they can use science!”

The school is unique in that it is one of only two special schools in Queensland that provides programs only for secondary aged students with disabilities.

You can get a taste for the growing delights in the garden if you want to visit their coffee shop. It is open Fridays between 10:00–12:00. Please call ahead on 07 3867 2333 if you would like to visit the coffee shop.

To find out more about the ground-breaking work of scientists in Queensland, follow Queensland Science on Twitter and Facebook.

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