Completed garden designed and built by students at MC2 STEM

Community Garden Project



Students share their learning story as they designed and build gardens to act as living laboratories to study the interconnectedness of plants, microorganisms and humans.

To dream a garden and then to plant it is an act of independence and even defiance to the greater world” – Stanely Crawford

You can see additional details on the student created page Student Learning Story

Project Objectives:

Garden project objectives to design and build a living labrotory

Garden project objects to build beautiful space, give back to the community

  • The objective of this project is for students to design and build a garden to use as a living laboratory to study the interconnectedness of plants, microorganisms and humans
  • To use the model making design process to learn measurements conversions and iterative design
  • To enrich the learning experience by creating a beautiful space and outdoor classroom and give back to the community of scholars to follow.
  • To study how ecosystems are organized and energy transformations in an ecosystem.

Week 1 – Connection Methods:

  • Before students start building their own prototypes they explore the types of connections that can be made using 1/12 scale model pieces.
  • Students learn to read engineering drawings by replicating and reflecting on designs.  Their objective is to build models based on a series of design plans
  • Test the properties of glue and learn about the effects of clamping on joint strength
Wooden garden model with clamps
Garden Prototype with clamps
Two cups with experimental and control written on them
Experimental Vs Control test


Building Prototypes:

Using their knowledge of engineering and connection methods, students start to build their own prototypes.  Each of the gardens must be divided into 7-10 plots.

  • Build 1/12 scale model.  1/12 is a great ratio to use since 1 inch = 1 foot
  • Prototype of garden at 1/12 scale

Garden Construction:

After each group completed their prototype they voted on a design to build into a full scale model. They used design thinking to improve the design and then learned how to make lap joints at full scale using 2×4’s

  • Students learn how to safely make a lap joint in a 2×4 using a table saw with a depth stop, speed squares and the miter saw
  • Guest Builders: Students welcome guest builders to help construct the garden.  His building expertise and commitment to safety is appreciated in the classroom
    Guest engineering teach helps teach how to safely use Table Saw
    Guest builder Mr. Hardin helps teach how to use the table saw safely

    Completed Gardens

    After a lot of dedication and hard work students complete their gardens and fill them healthy delicious fruits and veggies.

  • Learning Story Continued:

    To see the full learning story as told by the students from MC2 STEM visit their engineering page where they tell their learning story through photography.

  • Engineering Learning Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *