Last March, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter at Colquitt County High School organized and hosted an annual plant sale. Colquitt County FFA students prepared for the event by growing and tending the plants throughout the school year. Mrs. Adrienne Smith, FFA Advisor and CCHS teacher, stated to the CCHS newspaper that "the plant sale is a great learning experience for our Ag students as well as a benefit to our community. Customers not only support hands-on learning, but get a quality product at a great price." (Source: theblackandgold.org).
I think Mrs. Smith's statement is correct, and the plant sale is indeed a great learning experience for agriculture students. I applaud Mrs. Smith, her students, the FFA, Colquitt County High School, and the entire community for supporting the challenges and lessons learned during the plant sale.
I also think that plant sales are wonderful activities for schools across the state to look into, and that multiple scholastic disciplines can get involved with the sale.
Agriculture, biology, botany, and chemistry students can all collaborate to produce the best soil, fertilizer, and watering methods for the school's plants. Depending on the species of the plants, seeding and transplanting of plants can begin at the start of the school year, and the plants can be cultivated throughout the school year until the plant sale. The energy and effort extended to the plants can be offered as a class project, extra credit, or as the central activity in an afterschool club.
Math students, especially statisticians, can research the success seeding rates for various plants; they can then determine the number of seeds that must be planted in order to produce a guaranteed number of plant species for the sale. Other math students, especially those interested in business and economics, can determine the operating costs of growing the plants so that an accurate sales price can be assigned at the plant sale.
Technology students, especially those who enjoy building websites or designing advertisements, can come together and build a website that announces the date, time, and location of the plant sale. Art students can use technology to design posters and flyers that advertise the plant sale. Social media can also be used to build the "hype" of the plant sale, and to allow potential buyers to observe the growth of the plants throughout the school year.
Plant sales are a great way for students to come together and apply their scholastic strengths, and the education model can be applied to other activities like bake sales, talent shows, sporting events, etc. I am inspired by Mrs. Smith and her FFA students at Colquitt County High School, and I encourage students and teachers alike to consider embarking on such a large, yet fulfilling, adventure.