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Get the Dirt on Plants

Gardening is full of seeds, bugs, soil, and SCIENCE! Yes, there is so much wonderful science to explore in the backyard. Why do plants need sunshine? Why are worms important? How do plants drink and grow? What else do plants need to survive? Digging in the dirt gives kids the opportunity to learn about soil, weather, bugs, and plants. Gardening nurtures patience, strengthens observation and organization skills, and is quite simply, rewarding.

The wonder of seeing a garden grow encourages children to connect with nature and become environmental stewards. There are so many different gardens you can plant with your child. Ask your child to be a part of the planning and decision-making! Whether it is a backyard garden, concrete patio garden, or container garden, their involvement from the get-go will help instill a love of nature.

Choose Your Garden Adventure

Keep it simple but make it fun by choosing a garden-theme and watch your kids roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty!

Pollinator Garden

Pollinator gardens aren’t well-manicured gardens; they are messy, beautiful, and colourful. Kids will love creating a pollinator garden and the bees will love it even more. Find out which wild plants are native, in other words, plants that grow naturally in your area. Select a variety of native plants. Make sure your garden has plants that support all life cycles, so that there is food for every stage of an insect’s life, from hungry caterpillar to adult. Choose plants that flower at different times of the season so there’s always a tasty snack available. Check out Pollinators Please! for a complete list of early bloomers and mid to late-season bloomers!

Pizza Garden

Grow all the ingredients needed to make a pizza! Consider growing cherry tomatoes, peppers, and a variety of herbs such as basil, parsley, and chives. Extend the learning from the garden into the kitchen. Read Let’s Be Scientists! to learn about yeast and make your very own pizza dough.

Herb Garden

Herbs are a great way to acquire a green thumb. They are easy to grow, inexpensive, and can be grown inside or outside. The choices are endless, oregano, sage, thyme, basil, rosemary, are just the beginning. Be sure your herbs get a lot of sunshine, at least four hours a day.

Three Sisters Garden

Plant corn, beans, and squash and teach children about plants that grow well together. For centuries these three crops have been the center of Indigenous agriculture and culinary traditions. These plants grow well together to deter pests, weeds, enrich the soil, and support each other.

Eat-Your-Veggies Garden

Getting kids to eat their veggies is easier if they take part in growing them. It also teaches them where their food comes from and how much work it takes to grow the food we often take from granted. If you are a novice gardener, try hardy vegetables that are easy to grow with little fuss like radishes, cherry tomatoes, lettuces, beans, and zucchini. These veggies all have a great return on investment!

Science Education in the Classroom and Community!

Consider supporting science education in the classroom or in your community. At Scientists in School we offer investigative workshops that celebrate our precious planet. Check out our amazing hands-on programming that is available to elementary classrooms across the country!


To book a workshop, email us at

Intriguing Invertebrates:
Students learn about invertebrates in their own backyards by creating models of these creatures. Kids explore the physical characteristics, habitats, and diets of several invertebrates.

Our World of Energy: 
Students follow the influence of the sun and study the impact energy has in our world. They investigate light and sound energy and create a story-board to follow the path of energy from the sun to all living things.

Get the Dirt on Plants: 
Dig into learning about plants and soil! Students investigate soil layers while constructing a soil profile, experiment with water retention, explore plant parts, and examine seed dispersal by dissecting a seed.

“This is my first-year teaching Gr. 4 and my first-time using Scientists in School. I was impressed with how everything came pre-packaged and ready for students to use immediately! The students were so excited to be getting their own supplies and being able to perform the tasks in real time! The presenter was very organized, able to communicate instructions effectively, and was engaging! My students’ interest in plants and growing things has continued past the date of the virtual workshop. We check on our plants regularly and measure them. We hypothesize about why some seeds were successful in growing healthy plants and some were not. My students benefited from this program! Thank you so much!”

Grade 4 Teacher after a Get the Dirt on Plants workshop


Available for library programs, after-school programs, camps, and birthday parties. For more information or to book, email us at

Noticing Nature:
Chicka-dee-dee-dee. Kids play a game to discover nature sounds around us. They create bees, learn about pollination, investigate seeds and make a seed caterpillar that will grow over time. Kids are encouraged to notice all that nature has to offer, big and small!

“At the end of the day, you should smell like dirt!”

Margaret Atwood, Canadian Author

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