Temporary Teacher, Lifetime lesson

August 21, 2008

Hydroponics Dictionary
Ian Coutts may be a temporary teacher, but he is teaching something these kids will hopefully keep with them forever. He is teaching his students how to grow fruits and veggies at Goonellabah and Manifold Public School.

“It’s cool and it’s fun and we get healthy food… and it saves us from doing school work!” 11-year-old Goonellabah Public School student Jamie Saunderson said. “I’m going to grow vegies at home now… dad’s going to put a fence around a spot I’ve picked out and we’re going to make a garden together.”
That is the type of response that Ian was looking for.

The hands on approach for younger children can help them grasp concepts and foster interest. Shannon Lee from Lismore Hydroponics is taking an interest as well, donating and setting up a Hydroponics Dictionaryhydroponic strawberry tower. Ian is in the process of setting up a basic aquaponics system so that kids can see how this system works.

“Some of these students may struggle in a classroom environment but they love pulling out weeds and shovelling dirt. They particularly enjoy the hands-on aspect and learning in an outdoor environment,” Ian said. “If you can give children at this age first-hand experiences about healthy eating and sustainability, they will hopefully carry those practices into their adult lives.”

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