Return to Headlines

Middle School Teachers Awarded Tower Gardens to Enhance Learning


As part of a new local initiative, six middle school teachers in Rock Hill Schools have received Tower Gardens to enrich classroom learning and connect students to agriculture with innovative technology.

The Tower Garden, a vertical aeroponic system, allows students to grow plants and produce year-round. The Growing Gardens at Victory Gardens International (VGI) Community Farmstop will house the towers.

The Growing Garden provides students hands-on learning experiences and exposure to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) service-learning project. The objective is to encourage students to develop knowledge, intellectual skills, attitudes, experiences, and motivation to make and act upon responsible environmental decisions.

"I am excited about the possibilities of the program," said Rock Hill Schools Instructional Specialist of Science Kim Massey. "I can certainly say I didn't have this experience in middle school. I think this will give our students a view of plants and agriculture that they would not have otherwise."

Towers were purchased with Title IV funds, then offered to Rock Hill Schools middle school teachers who applied for them by submitting their ideas on how they would connect the growing of vegetables in the classroom using a new technology tool to their content standards and student experiences.

The teachers leading this year's program are:

  • Derek McQuiston, FLEX Center

  • Brittany Pollina, Sullivan Middle

  • Dr. Britteny Jensen, Castle Heights Middle

  • Gerald Seabold, Castle Heights Middle

  • Jalavender Clowney, Saluda Trail Middle

  • John Brandt, Dutchman Creek Middle

VGI will be working alongside teachers to help them learn about opportunities in agriculture, the growing process, and marketing.

Stay tuned for updates next semester; towers will be collected and cleaned for redistribution to a new set of teachers in January 2024.

For more information about the science curriculum, check the South Carolina Academic Science Standards: