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Forest Hills Eastern Middle School

Summary
Social Studies:
Students learned about how original people viewed and interacted with their environment by doing activities with native plants. The importance of planting native plants to our natural community and watershed was discussed. The chosen site is a prominent location for students and visitors and will be a place to showcase student learning. This community centerpiece will include interactive learning cards to aide viewers about our current and historic interaction with native plants and the environment. Students researched and chose which native plants to place in the native garden and choose how to share their knowledge with their school and local community.

Science:
Seventh grade students began their Ecology unit with a presentation from Ada Township Parks about invasive species. Students worked on spotted knapweed removal from an existing courtyard on campus and created beds that they fill with new native plant and mulch.  Students did a spring cleaning of the courtyard which included weeding and more mulch. Then, in May, all 200 students visited Ada Park to pick garlic mustard, an invasive species there.  Eighth grade students studied water quality through chemical testing and macroinvertebrate data on the Eastern campus in September and discovered the connections within the Grand River Watershed.  Their fall water study culminated in a canoe voyage on the Rogue River.  In the spring, eighth graders again tested water on Eastern’s campus and compared their data to the fall results.

Fostering Lifelong Stewardship
Students understand that even though they are young, they can teach their parents and neighbors about what can impact a watershed and a neighborhood. Students report that their families no longer put unsanitary items in a storm drain, no longer wash their cars on concrete, and notice if invasive species are on their property. Without Groundswell activities in their classes, students would not be aware of their own impact on their environment.

Number of Students
400

Number of Teachers
5

Partners
Ada Township Parks

Funders
Baldwin Foundation

Tags
invasive species, native vegetation, watershed exploration, history

Summary
Seventh grade students began their Ecology unit with a presentation from Ada Township Parks about invasive species. Students worked on spotted knapweed removal from an existing courtyard on campus and created beds that they filled with new native plants and mulch. Students also did a spring cleaning of the courtyard which included weeding and more mulch. Then, in May, all 200 students visited Ada Park to pick garlic mustard, an invasive species there. Students also made several dishes that incorporate garlic mustard, including hummus, salsa, salad, and pesto. Students also did activities around a movie The Little Red Wagon highlighting the importance and great effects of service learning. This introduces students to the idea of stewardship and makes them realize that the actions of seventh graders truly can make a difference in their own community. Eighth grade students studied water quality through chemical testing and macroinvertebrate data on the Eastern campus in September and discovered the connections within the Grand River watershed. Their fall water study culminated in a canoe voyage on the Rogue River. In the spring, eighth graders again tested water on Eastern’s campus and compared their data to the fall results.

7th Grade students learned about how Native Americans viewed and interacted with their environment by doing activities with native plants. The importance of planting native plants to our natural community and watershed was discussed. The chosen site is a prominent location for students and visitors and will be a place to showcase student learning. This community centerpiece includes interactive learning cards to aid viewers about our current and historic interaction with native plants and the environment. Students will research and choose which native plants to place in the native garden and choose how to share their knowledge with their school and local community. Students planted the garden this spring.

Showcase Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiEpB0Ow51Q

Number of Students
400

Number of Teachers
4

Partners
Ada Township Parks
West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC)
Aquarium Services
Grand Valley Metro Council / Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds
River City Wild Ones

Funders
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Tags
invasive species, native vegetation, watershed exploration, history

District
Forest Hills Public Schools

School Website
http://www.fhps.net/easternmiddle/

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