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Carton2Garden: Students Recount the Process

by Lucy Burke and Ksenia Podoltseva, 4th Graders

Click on this link to watch a slideshow of the Carton2Garden process.

It all started last year when we found out about and entered the Carton2Garden contest and lost, which made us really motivated to enter again this year and to work harder, better, and stronger. The 1st Grade entered it last year by themselves with a very creative entry, but this year 1st, 4th, and 8th Grade decided to collaborate to make something magnificent and useful! 

We decided to design and build a mini-greenhouse to replace our old greenhouse that had collapsed in the snow a few winters ago. It took many ideas, talents, and many, many mistakes to come up with our final model. Some of our talents that proved helpful were photography, botany, math, filming, engineering, public speaking, art, and 3D designing. The 1st and 4th Grades came together and started building a greenhouse, but they soon realized that it would take too many cartons. Instead of building a greenhouse, we decided to build a cold frame, and two 4th Graders, Luca and Oli, made a 3D design of the cold frame which helped us to decide how to make a larger one. The 4th and 1st grade students made announcements and posters to encourage people to reuse and recycle used cartons. 

Next, 4th Grader Chloe Nelson made an iMovie from pictures she had taken during our work sessions to send to Carton2Garden, which allowed everyone to see our work. Please watch our video, it is on youtube here: http://carton2garden.com/inspiration/contest-winners/

Ksenia and Lucy reused and cleaned the old greenhouses panels. (They were so dirty that they found a spider stuck inside one of the panels!) Meanwhile, other 4th Graders and 1st Graders were building with mini blocks and thinking about the design and shape of the cold frame. Not only were they making math calculations and thinking about engineering strategies, but they also used more cartons to plant seeds. We planted beans, sunflowers, lettuce, spinach and radishes. It took a lot of effort and time. Now, our seedlings are in the process of growing into healthy plants. 

At the same time, the 8th Grade math students measured, calculated and designed the final details of our cold frame. They did a lot for the Carton2Garden project and we could not have done it without them. After a lot of time and effort, we placed the cold frame in the garden, so we could add our school-grown plants. It took a long time to grow them; more than four weeks have passed and they are still happily growing!

Many weeks passed...we held our breath until April 23, the day of the Carton2Garden winning announcement!

The 1st, 4th, and two 8th Graders who participated in this project gathered in the garden to find out about the winners of the Carton2Garden contest. Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Jackson and Mrs. Lariviere announced the winners. There were a several of them and one of them was us!!! We won the STEM prize! Our grand prize was $2,500 to spend on gardening supplies and anything else we could hope for for our garden. We had a popcorn party to celebrate our collaboration and hard work! We are so grateful and excited!

Thank you, Carton2Garden!