Springtime Virtual Learning: the Latham ‘magic school bus’ goes to the greenhouse!

Latham students loved their recent “virtual on-campus field trip” led by one of their fantastic teachers, Katie Jaeger. The kids were surprised when Katie joined the online science lesson from her smartphone rather than laptop. “Katie, it’s like you’re Ms. Frizzle and we’re on the Magic School Bus,” one of the students remarked. After a quick laugh, Katie joined staff member Esteban in the Latham School greenhouse. Esteban has a ‘green thumb’ and has worked tirelessly to create a serene space where students can mindfully practice horticulture.

Esteban asked the students what they already know about growing plants from seeds. He showed them different seed varietals and how he and the students on campus have recently planted seedlings. He also showed the best way to plant and water these delicate morsels so that our virtual learners could help family members with their planting. After taking the class on a virtual tour through the inside of the greenhouse, he showed them the recently cleared garden. Esteban emphasized the time of year and how the rainy spring season is essential to the success of many of the plants we see growing outside right now such as tiger lilies. Tiger lilies are gorgeous flowers native to Cape Cod. The kids are all familiar with them, but they were surprised to learn that tiger lilies have root bulbs rather than seeds. The tiger lily that Esteban showed our learners had over six bulbs on one plant! The coolest thing about tiger lilies is that you can divide them and plant them in planters or in different gardens around your house, they learned. Currently, multiple classes on campus are all taking care of different tiger lilies so that we can plant them in new areas on campus.

We can’t wait to update everyone on the gardening as it progresses, including our blog readers and virtual learners!

Submitted by Katrina Fryklund, Director of National Outreach

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