On Monday, April 22, John Rex Middle School students celebrated Earth Day by participating in a Gardening & Technology Workshop hosted by the Myriad Gardens and instructed by Dale Spoonemore and Patrick Hartley, local software developers behind the globally popular From Seed to Spoon mobile app.
Sixth-grade students shared in an interactive lesson focused on real-world connections between the dynamic realm of computer coding and the vital ability to grow your own food. Students learned how to code using a block-based visual programming language known as Scratch, an MIT designed platform for children. The STEM-based workshop also promoted thinking skills and project experimentation, which led students to integrate lines of code to command animated vegetable and fruit images to navigate throughout farm and garden backdrops.
In addition, students gained insight into how Dale practices environmentally friendly methods in his own large suburban garden. “Dale has become a recognizable gardening icon in horticultural circles for how he has uniquely adapted his professional software development skills with his personal endeavors to produce organic vegetables for his family and teach the community how to do the same,” said Joel Bramhall, Director of Education for the Myriad Gardens. The workshop aimed to propel students toward choosing healthier decisions and inspiring them to connect with nature as much as possible. Other key topics included college and career paths, the benefits of teamwork, and balancing technology with authentic real-life interactions.