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Mechanicsville Elementary School Art Class Designs and Constructs Rain Garden

Release Date: 5/6/2009 1:33:57 PM

Fourth grade students at Mechanicsville Elementary School were chosen to help construct and plant the school’s rain garden. Under the direction of art teacher Cathy Frock, the students also have been physically designing their landscape plans during art class. The garden will be planted on Wednesday, May 13, 2009.
Last summer, Frock took the Wild School Grounds Workshop at Hashawha and helped plant a rain garden behind one of their parking lots.  “Before I was hired to teach art in the school system, I was a civil designer, project manager, and landscape designer for local civil engineering firms here in Carroll County for over 20 years,” Frock said.  “I wanted to teach the children real life skills as well as integrate math, science, and art.”
The art class first discussed where precipitation goes once it touches a hard surface. The students then learned how the path of water travels on those surfaces and how, without proper treatment, it can pollute and possibly kill native species in ditches, brooks, streams, rivers, bays, and oceans. When they designed their landscape plans, the students discussed complimentary colors in the plants, as well as size at maturity, spacing, botanical names, and common names. In addition, the students were taught how to read an engineer's scale.  For example, they had to learn to use a scale of 1" = 10"-0".  According to Frock, “This was a challenge for the children, but they were excited in knowing no one else has done this but them and they were very determined and passionate about making their plan successful.”
The fourth grade art class is held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

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