Harrison North Elementary shows off high-tech tools

CADIZ – Harrison North Elementary is giving pupils a high-tech education.

During a recent meeting of the Harrison Hills City School Board, Principal Jennifer Ryder led a presentation outlining the construction of a new outdoor science lab and its educational value and contribution to student achievement.

The project was made possible through a grant of $5,000 from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for a project tied to science standards. Work was completed during the summer.

Sixth-grade teachers Shawnee Arbaugh and Becky Agostini described the construction process. Credit went to volunteers who devoted their time and energy, and to the Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison County Solid Waste District, which partnered with the district to help write the grant.

The lab includes mini greenhouses, composters which tie into environmental science standards through lessons in recycling and using materials over again. A water garden with downspouts was installed to water the garden during periods of rain. A rain barrel was installed.

The site includes a mix of perennials and annuals, and a cactus garden for environmental comparison. Geometric-shaped beds were also installed to tie into math standards. The labeling process ties into language arts.

The addition of a pond also allows pupils to take water samples and study the water cycle.

Another useful addition is the weather station, which allows students to keep track of high and low temperatures, rainfall, wind speed and barometric pressure. Another weather station will be set up for comparison.

The garden site had been dedicated to the memory of Harrison County Sherrif’s Deputy Robert Brooks.