During the 2016-2017 school year, the entire fourth grade participated in a STEM unit on making green cleaners. The class read labels from cleaners used in the school and found warnings for dangerous chemical reactions. Groups researched green cleaners and recipes on line. Given green materials, groups made their own recipes. These recipes were then tested. Individual students tried each solution and rated it for smell, cleaning, and residue. These highly rated prototypes were piloted in the fourth grade. They were successful in keeping the room clean and sanitized, so it was decided to make them available school wide.
Farm to School Initiative
All students at Crellin Elementary are involved in our Farm to School initiative. Students assist in the vegetable garden to produce food for classrooms and for the cafeteria. They are involved in the whole process from planting, harvesting, preparing the food, and consumption. Our greenhouse is used to extend our growing season and a hydroponics system is used. We are certified to sell and use the eggs we get from our hens. These eggs are used in our school breakfast and lunch program.
Plants in the Classroom
Some classrooms do not have proper ventilation, so plants have been introduced into the indoor environment to improve air quality. These plants are also used for instructional purposes. During the growing season these plants will be transplanted outdoors.
Making Good Food Choices
Through a partnership with the Maryland Extension Office, students in kindergarten, second and fourth grades receive lesson on food and healthy food choices. These lessons allow students to sample new healthy foods, cook, and learn how these foods benefit their health. In addition, several parents organize cooking lessons in all classrooms. These parents are passionate about healthy eating and introduce students to healthy alternative snacks and meals. We participate in Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution Day.