PITTSBURG — For several weeks George Nettels Elementary students have passed by the “lady in the pink hat.”

What that lady, who happens to be Nancy Scott, has been doing is gardening around the school.

Scott and her “classmates” Larry Dunekack and Ken Bateman, are just finishing up their volunteer work after taking a Master Gardening class, taught by Jacob Weber through the K-State Research and Extension.

Dunekack and Bateman came to help Scott teach STEM Club students about gardening.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the students meet once a month to practice STEM related activities.

Connecting the students with community members, along with the science behind gardening is  beneficial for the students, George Nettels Science Teacher Aaron Cicero said.

“Being connected with the community builds relationships outside the school and gives them volunteer experience and experience with real life circumstances,” he said.   

Scott said the district has a great maintenance crew, but there are a few things which take a little more time which the crew may not have time to provide.

“This is our neighborhood,” she said. “I walk by here every day, and I saw a few things that could improve the beauty and appearance of the school.”

Wednesday, the club and the now-Master Gardeners, along with their teacher, taught the students about acidity in the soil, where to place plants and keeping them healthy and growing.

With their help, there are now pansies planted along the front of the school, which makes the school “a more colorful place,” fifth graders Avery Johnson and Kendall Crager said.

Clubmate Colin Sullivan said he’s found gardening to be more interesting than he anticipated.

“It’s interesting and fun, but it is also different,” he said.

The students said they found out it takes a great deal of time and patience to do gardening work, with preparing the soil, measuring and finally putting the plant in place.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.