Fall Planting & Bridge Strength Test

Last week was all about shapes in our garden and in our science room. On Tuesday, we had our big fall planting in the garden. Each class had an assigned bed and a variety of herbs and vegetables to plant. We used a grid (made up of 32 squares) to plant into our rectangle shaped garden beds. The grid helped us pay attention to plant and seed spacing so each vegetable will have enough room to grow.

Doboonim planted rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, parsley, and sage.

Kofim explored seeds big and small. First, they lined up to plant big yellow wax and green bean seeds, as  well as sugar snap pea seeds. We tried to plant 5 beans and 8 sugar snap peas per square. Using their fingers to poke deep holes, our little monkeys then pushed the seeds down into the dirt. In another bed, Kofim planted yellow squash seeds, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and bok choy. Last, each student got a cup full of carrots seeds, which we saw are tiny! Instead of planting them one by one, we used our pincher fingers to sprinkle the carrots seeds carefully over the garden bed.

Before the older students got to planting, they worked together as a class to design their garden layout. We discussed how some plants, like tomatoes and broccoli, get huge and need more space to grow. Those plants need to be planted far apart. Other plants, like eggplant and peppers, can be planted closer together. Using the square foot garden method, the students assembled pictures of each vegetable into a plan that we used for reference while planting.

Parparim planted a stir fry bed full of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, carrots, and beans, including dragon tongue beans!

VPK 1 planted an bruschetta bed featuring tomatoes, eggplant, basil, chives, and carrots. They decided to plant their tomatoes, eggplants, and carrots in long rows that stretched across the length of the garden bed.

VPK 2 planted a salsa bed. Since their shape of the week was square, they grouped their 4 tomato plants and 4 pepper plants into blocks instead of rows. Next to those, they scattered carrot and cilantro seeds and also planted garlic chives.

On Thursday, we tested the strength of bridges. In Parparim and VPK, the students watched a short video about what makes bridges so strong. We noticed that bridges are built using different shapes. For example, a beam bridge makes rectangles, a truss bridge uses triangles, and an arch bridge features a semi-circle. We learned that some shapes, like triangles and semi-circles, are very strong building shapes because any weight that is placed on them is distributed across the shape!

All the classes watched a demonstration of how much weight each type of bridge could withstand before collapsing.

Here are the different bridges we built:

It was fun to guess how many weights each one would hold. Then, the students “built” their own bridges using wooden blocks and paper. Doobonim and Kofim tested the strength of their bridges with tops and cars, while Parparim and VPK used tops and pennies.