Aspen Elementary students work together to create a class garden.

At Aspen Elementary, 2nd/3rd grade teacher Kathi Byington created a project based learning science unit that encourages her students to work together while enhancing the school environment. 

Here, Ms. Byington receives her grant. Since the project will cost more than the amount of grant, her students will raise extra money through their ongoing recycling project.

As a catalyst to begin the project this fall, Ms. Byington will take her students on a field trip to the Conejo Valley Botanical Garden. As the garden nears completion next spring, the class will visit the McGrath Family Organic Farm where they will meet master gardeners.

To begin, the students have displayed their ideas and design on campus.

Some beautiful elements are already in place!

Ms. Byington wrote: “I believe that students must become actively involved in their learning to make connections from their own personal lives to this learning, thus creating students who are capable of higher level critical thinking, who want to find multiple solutions to a problem, and who can articulate their ideas to an audience.”