Students Learn New Appreciation for Plants

Students Learn New Appreciation for Plants

LSU Jr. Nature Camp LSU Jr. Nature Camp

July 14, 2016

School may be out for the summer, but that doesn't mean young people have stopped learning. A junior naturalist camp at LSU in Baton Rouge is teaching students how to build a terrarium, giving them an appreciation for the role plants play in their lives. 

Attendees of the Junior Naturalist Camp for Tiger Challenge in Baton Rouge got their hands dirty, played with rocks, and when they were finished, had constructed a terrarium of their very own. The lesson highlighted the important role of plants and taught the students how to care for them. 
Kiki Fontenot, a horticulturist from the LSU AgCenter, said, "This can be something the child completely manages. I think it teaches responsibility, first off, and how to care for another living thing, which I think is very important in today’s society."

By building the terrarium on their own, the students were actively involved in a hands-on activity that helped them learn what plants need to survive.

Jodi Messina, a teacher at the camp, thinks the program is beneficial. "They understand it more. It’s more concrete to them. A lot of these students, they’re more hands-on, visual learners. I know I am, so that the way they learn information best."

The plant in this exercise was moss, and it was obvious that the students were aware what they needed to do to keep the moss alive and where to place the terrariums.

Maxwell Gaudet, a student at the camp, showed off some of his knowledge about terrariums. "They can’t have a lot of sun, but they can have a little bit of sun. They don’t want that much," he explained.

Fontenot stressed that getting children enthusiastic about activities like this helps them appreciate the usefulness of plants for food and medicine. "This is engaging children at a young age and showing that plants can be fun – and they’re important to us – so it gets them to look at in a light that is more exciting," she said.

It took the students about an hour to build the terrariums and costs less than a dollar to make one.  

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