Some never germinated. Many were never watered after the first couple of days. A couple drowned. Some were misplaced, a half dozen knocked over.
Every day the kids breathed, and every day the surviving plants grew, taking their breath, and making stuff. Water molecules were split, carbon dioxide molecules fixed.
And now, from a few handfuls of seed, we have a riot of colors under our fluorescent lights--Pruden's purple tomatoes, rattlesnake beans, screaming yellow squash flowers, pink pea flowers. 30 or 40 basil plants share the aquarium light with the fish.
Today, I showed the class a mature bean pod, itself holding a few beans ready to carry on to the next generation.
Ally, the plant's owner, opted not to eat the bean, and she would not let me eat it, either. She has grown attached to her plant.
I suppose this can be tossed off as one of those puff pieces, pseudo-education packaged in feel-good stories that plague our nation, damning our nation to economic misery, and I could be (yet) another science teacher who fell off the STEM wagon, spoiled by NEA propaganda and neo-liberal wonkiness.
Science starts with observing nature, whatever this universe thing is. If a child has never witnessed a plant grow, not a whole lot of sense talking about photosynthesis or NADPH or the Calvin cycle.
Long after nucleotides and polymerases fade from their memories, my students will remember their plants.
The photo was taken from Reimer Seeds.