In a tucked-away room off of the Hazel Dell Elementary cafeteria is a space where students learn skills they might not find in textbooks. How to create a disaster-preparedness kit, for example, or unclog a drain. It’s called the Experience Lab, and it’s a place to learn about the real world.
Elite gardeners from the Washington State University Clark County Master Gardener Program visited the lab on Nov. 29. Their objective: teaching students about pollination and worms through hands-on activities, including a chance for kids to dig, with much delight, through soil to find live worms.
“I think it was awesome because I found a little piece of dirt. When it cracked open, there was a bunch of worms in it,” said first-grader Amaya Moro.
The Master Gardener presence at Hazel Dell furthers the organization’s main goal, education of children and adults, said Master Gardener Barbara Nordstrom.
The Master Gardeners already enjoy an established relationship with the school, collaborating on its 13-year-old community garden and annual Enrichment Fair. Now they’re looking forward to new opportunities through the lab, run by Family-Community Resource Coordinator Shanna Baird and Teacher Librarian Heather Rhone.
“It’s been a good beginning to what will hopefully be a long partnership with the Experience Lab,” said Nordstrom.