Students at Eisenhower Elementary School are participating in a global project on climate change.
Students at Eisenhower Elementary School are participating in a global project on climate change. Fourth graders at Eisenhower planted tulips last week as a part of the international Journey North program. The students, along with groups from all over the world, will measure the growth of the tulips and report back to the project's scientists, who will use the data to measure climate change. Eisenhower is the only school in the area participating in the program. “I think they learn better when things are hands-on,” teacher Tiffany Pacey said. “They are more engaged and focused. They love science.” Pacey's students are participating in the program with students from Tiffany Cornett's fourth-grade class, also of Eisenhower. The fourth-graders expanded their project beyond the 12 bulbs that were required by Journey North. They planted a total of 50 tulip bulbs — some with and without fertilizer and others at differing depths. The students will chart the tulips' growth to determine which growing conditions result in the best flowers. Wyatt Eisenbarth said he thought the tulips that were planted deeper and with fertilizer will grow the best. “I think if they are planted deeper, they will be able to absorb more water,” he said. He said he was excited to be a part of a global project. “I have never been a part of something this big before,” he said. The students also will be fulfilling part of their citizenship requirement for the district's C3 initiative by taking over the maintenance of the landscaping for the flower beds in front of the school. “It is really hard to do, but its fun,” Cassidy Beam said as she and others filled in potting soil in a bed around a tree. Although the students are working outside, they are still learning valuable classroom skills. Pacey said the students will have to use math skills to chart the tulips' progress. They have used writing skills to research and write about their project. K-State Research and Extension also will bring more science into the project by teaching the students about the life cycles of the plants. Mid-Kansas Coop donated fertilizer and gloves for the project.