All gardening takes is some soil, an occasional visit from the watering can, some sun and a whole lot of patience, Sam Wilcoxson said.
The 8-year-old Harris Elementary student said although planting the tomatoes was exciting, he’s ready for the next step.
“Waiting for the flowers,” he said, explaining the most challenging part of the STEM project. “Then the tomatoes.”
And once they turn red, Sam is ready to put them to use in tomato soup, tomato sauce or maybe a pizza.
Students in three special education classes at Harris Elementary can relate to Sam’s excitement as each group carefully waters and watches the plants, waiting for the first sign of a flower they know will lead to a juicy tomato.
The project is designed to help students in special education classes connect to science through hands-on learning, said Rama Cousik, assistant professor of special education at IPFW.
Cousik and Jeff Nowak have been helping the students throughout the process of planting and growing the plants.
Nowak is an associate professor of science education at IPFW who also serves as the director of the Northeast Indiana Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – or STEM – Education Resource Center.
Cousik began the process of growing tomato plants at her home and delivered the seedlings to the classroom with instructions, science lessons and projects for the students.
“They can talk about the tomatoes in math and language and all other subjects,” Cousik said.
And while students enjoy the fun of watching the plants grow and flower, the teachers are tracking data to see whether the hands-on project helps students connect with gardening vocabulary words and science concepts, Cousik said.
•Ivy Tech will host a touch-a-truck event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Coliseum Campus, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd. to encourage students to explore vehicles including police cars, fire trucks, limos, tow trucks and more.
•Ivy Tech Community College Northeast and the North Anthony Corridor Group are co-sponsoring a Story Walk from Saturday to May 3. The Story Walk will feature a series of laminated signs lining the west side of North Anthony Boulevard between Crescent Avenue and St. Joe River Road. Each sign will feature a different page of a children’s book.
•Area high school students are invited to Go Ivy Day from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday in the Student Life Center on Ivy Tech’s North Campus, 3701 Dean Drive. Registration is free online at IvyTech.edu/northeast/goivyday.
•The Ivy Tech Faculty Writers Group is sponsoring its third annual Write the Feminine event at 7 p.m. Friday in room CC1200 in the Coliseum Campus, 3800 N. Anthony Blvd.
•Four Manchester University students – juniors Kirsten Hart-Hults and Nathan Patterson and sophomores Collin Huffine and Jacob Segraves – will network with environmental professionals as recipients of $500 scholarships from the Central Indiana Technical and Environmental Societies. The students will attend the annual meeting and symposium of the professional organization on Saturday at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis.
•Indiana’s Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann will be the keynote speaker at Huntington University’s 116th Commencement on May 17.
•Doug Moo, New Testament scholar and author of several works in biblical studies, will be the speaker for the Bergdall Endowed Lectureship on Biblical Studies at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Huntington University.
•The public is invited to join the University of Saint Francis students and community on Friday at 10 a.m. in the university’s Hutzell Athletic Center gymnasium for Stand Against Racism, a Saint Francis student-led partnership with the YWCA Northeast Indiana in a nationwide effort to discourage racism and discrimination in society.
•The University of Saint Francis Student Government Association is offering a public yard sale on Saturday in the parking lot next to Trinity Hall and the dormitories at 2701 Spring St. “Early bird” admission will be from 7 to 8:30 a.m., at a cost of $2 per person. Admission to the sale will then be free through 4 p.m.