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The Greenhouse Effect: Mills Elementary cultivates a project-based learning environment for students

The fruition of the Mills Elementary Greg & Red Clark Family Greenhouse began 5 years ago as an idea to merge project-based learning into school curriculum. Since that time, students at Mills Elementary have learned the art of patience and care needed for managing an active greenhouse.GreenH5

Mills Elementary project leader and tutor, Jennifer Leimback, saw students take the initiative to complete a project 5 years in the making. As funding and community partnerships began coming together for the project, a group of 5th grade students took an active part in constructing the final stages of its development.

“It’s theirs…and they will tell you that.”



Developed to create an active environment for project-based learning and preparation, the greenhouse is currently incorporated into curriculum in every grade level at Mills Elementary.

Many individuals assisted in the project development; including a significant partnership between the school and the Casper Community Greenhouse Project. As a result of this collaboration, students from Star Lane Center mentored Mills elementary students as part of their senior capstone project. Mills Elementary principal, Cobie Taylor-Logan credits the success of the project to the students, staff, community partners and many volunteers.







Many local businesses and individuals contributed to the success of the project.   









Instrumental to the success of the project is Mills Elementary lunch clerk, Red Clark and her husband, Greg. The Clark family, including their children and grandchildren, spent many hours volunteering on the building construction and design of the project. Working for the past 22 years at Mills Elementary, Principal Taylor-Logan calls Mrs. Clark, “the heart of the school as far as meeting the basic needs of our students every day, she continues to go above and beyond and her heart really fell into this project with the greenhouse.”




Principal Taylor-Logan shares the news of the name dedication with Greg & Red Clark.

This innovative project has planted the seed of curiosity for Mills students as they continue to develop new ideas for the use and future of the greenhouse. Recently, students took a field trip to study soil science on Casper Mountain to bring information they discovered back to their own greenhouse. Mills Elementary will also be once again partnering with students from Star Lane Center in upcoming collaborative projects focusing on soil science, nutrition and other aspects of the greenhouse.

Jennifer Leimback is looking forward to the future opportunities and educational growth the greenhouse will bring to students, “The students are excited to learn, and they’re excited to share with others what they’re learning about.”

GreenH3  Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Walt Wilcox and Trustee Paula Reid tour the greenhouse during the dedication ceremony.




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This entry was posted on October 13, 2014 by in Home - Inside NCSD.

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