Students will participate in 17 fun-filled, hands-on, sequential lessons as they explore the basic scientific principles associated with the growing cycle. Teacher's manual and student workbooks provide structure and standards-based learning opportunities. Package includes 1 Ready-to-Grow kit (1 EarthBox, potting mix, fertilizer, dolomite and casters).
Choose what you want to grow, plant the seeds or seedlings in this revolutionary box and observe science at work. Children will experience the responsibility of caring for their crop, the thrill of observing the different parts of their plants, and learn about the growing cycle as you study the transformation process together. The wonder of life and hope of the harvest are timeless experiences for children.
The unique design of the Earth Box is just the beginning of science at work for this self-contained growing system! The black screen at the bottom serves a very important function. Not only does it keep the potting mix from falling into the water reservoir, but it also holds the potting mix far enough above the water to allow space for air. The roots of a plant need air, and this is where they get it. Water only comes into contact with the potting mix in two places — the two square holes in the corners of the screen. The potting mix falls into these holes and fills them up. Earth Boxes aren't watered the same way plants in a garden are watered. Instead of watering from above, they are watered from below by pouring water into the watering tube. This tube leads directly to the water reservoir. The overflow hole in the side of the Earth Box prevents the addition of too much water, this hole makes it impossible to over water the plants in an Earth Box. The potting mix in the two corners acts as a wick and become saturated with water. Water then moves up through the dry potting mix by the principle of capillary action. When a plant absorbs water from the potting mix, more water is pulled up from the reservoir. As long as the reservoir is kept full, the plant will always have the proper amount of water.
During the set up of the Earth Box, fertilizer is placed on top of the potting mix. Just like water is pulled from the reservoir as the plants need it, fertilizer is pulled from the top of the potting mix. The plastic cover that comes with your kit is another important feature. It keeps rain out, helps prevent evaporation, helps keep insects and other pests out of the potting mix and prevents weeds from growing in the Earth Box.
The success of growing plants in an Earth Box is based on numerous scientific principles that can be investigated in further detail in the Earth Box Curriculum Support Packages.
"The Earthboxes provided an affordable, simple way to bring gardening into an elementary school classroom! My high school students and FFA members prepared and delivered their own lessons in plant anatomy and physiology to our partner (5th grade) classroom. As they promoted agricultural literacy and taught real-life science, I was able to assess their understanding of the concepts."
Teacher & FFA Advisor
Agricultural & Environmental Science
TST BOCES - New Visions Program
"At Doris Hancock Elementary School, in Las Vegas, Nevada, an incredible experience is underway. The GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) students are working alongside the Kindergarteners and students in Special Education to develop a school garden. Through the planting, maintaining, and tracking the growth of the vegetables and herbs in the EarthBoxes, students are able to learn about the environment and how plants grow. This is a perfect example of how NATURE and NURTURE work together to provide students with an optimal learning environment. Valuable and relevant, hands on activities create the opportunity for our children to integrate core curriculum with real world experiences. Relationships are being fostered between our students of various age and ability levels, while they measure, observe, draw and journal all about the plants and their experiences together. This coming school year we hope to integrate the nutrition aspect of the program by incorporating a Healthy Hancock Hawk Cookbook with recipes created by our students and families using the fruits, vegetables, and herbs we grow in our Earthboxes. As our program and crops grow, we look forward to using our Earthboxes as a source for community service projects. Thanks, Earthboxes!"
"The EarthBox was an invaluable tool for my after-school program. We used the EarthBox to learn core scientific concepts. The hands-on environment allowed some of my more academically reluctant students an opportunity to shine. Students who had difficulty in the traditional classroom gained new confidence by leading the group in the hands-on activities of planting, maintaining, and harvesting our EarthBoxes. The controlled environment of the EarthBox allowed us to perform experiments and witness scientific concepts in action; it also insured the health of our plants and the wealth of our harvest. Thank you, EarthBox!"
Nay Aug After School Program
Learn how gardening can be used to teach students about science, engineering, technology, and mathematics with this Insights and Inspirations article.