• Photo of students discovering worms at Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Photo of student digging for worms at Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Photo of students talking to Master Gardener
  • Photo of hands-on learning at Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Photo of students learning about pollination at Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Photo of students learning how pollination works at Hazel Dell Elementary
  • Photo of students working with Master Gardener at Hazel Dell Elementary

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.

To see other Experience Lab activities, follow @Hazel_DellES on Twitter or search for #HDExperienceLab.

Did you know?

Garden beds at the Hazel Dell school and community garden are available to community members. Get more information.