Geometry Lesson Yields Greenhouse on School Grounds

How does your garden grow?  At Cuyahoga Heights Schools it begins with a new greenhouse that came about from, of all things – a geometry class!  Last school year, juniors in Kelsey Mason and Zachary Noernberg's Geometry B class learned how to apply geometry to real life situations by measuring and determining the size of what eventually became a 10- by 20-ft. hoop-shaped edifice adjacent to the baseball field. In addition, four raised garden beds were built and filled with topsoil. Students also learned how to write a requisition order to purchase materials through the school’s Treasurer Department. 

Over spring break, the final plastic was hung and a door was installed to finish it off.  Soon after, senior Jason Davis, who attends the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center, fabricated a gutter to collect rain water from the baseball dugout, using materials donated by his employer. The rainwater will be used to water the plants inside the greenhouse.  Students even calculated that the gutter system would enable them to collect 120 gallons of water for every 1-in. of rain that falls. The district’s Maintenance Department hung the gutter in time for spring planting.

Next, students from Chadwick Robinson’s Environmental Science class got involved by preparing the inside of the greenhouse for plantings.  Prior to the last frost, they selected and grew plants from seed in Robinson's classroom using  various recycled containers.  “The kids as a whole found a way to combine their basic science knowledge and their creativity by planting the seedlings and seeing them grow,” said Robinson.

Future plans are to plant a native wildflower garden specific to northeastern Ohio and to add additional garden space outside the greenhouse.  “Ultimately, the students want to promote sustainability in the community, by showing that they can grow their own food.” Robinson concluded.