Gardening gets these students excited about science; 'I really wanted to plant that seed in them'

Posted at 11:03 AM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 12:04:48-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Students at Tussing Elementary School are learning science can be fun when you get your hands dirty.

"I asked them, 'who brought their digging tools?'," said Colonial Heights High School Teacher and Coach Tracy Boyd, holding up his fingers. “And I said, ‘They're right here’. And they took that excitement home, and wanted to plant at home."

He’s teaching the students at the elementary school the love and reward of maintaining plants with two new, raised gardens.

But the kids wouldn’t be having this much fun learning if it wasn’t for Colonial Heights High School graduating senior, Maria Elena Smith.

She earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by building the raised beds for the students to garden in.

"I really wanted to plant that seed in them to be excited about agriculture and excited about growing," said Smith. “Some of the kids went home and wanted to build a raised garden in their backyard"

It’s a growing interest in all kinds of subjects.

"How to learn the water cycle, the life cycle, agriculture," said Smith. “They didn't really have that resource for us."

"They've watered these plants every day," Boyd said. “And that's responsibility. It's not just growing stuff and eating stuff. It's a little bit of responsibility, and hopefully they'll carry that on throughout life."

Smith was once an elementary student at Tussing. Now, before going off to college, she's seeing what blossoms from a little love, hard work and responsibility.

Building something as small as a garden... is Building Better Minds.

Building Better Minds with Rob Cardwell airs every Wednesday at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. on CBS 6 and is sponsored by Virginia Family Dentistry.

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