ENTERPRISE, Ala (WTVY) - "Science is all hands-on based. As a child, I grew up military and moved and some of my favorite teachers were science teachers that were hands-on."
Fifth grade teacher Christine Strickland at Hillcrest Elementary School wants to bring that same enthusiasm she had for science as a child to her own students.
"We had a standard that says defend the claim that, 'Plants primarily obtain materials for growth from sun and water' " says Strickland.
The Enterprise Chamber of Commerce gave Strickland a grant to grow plants inside her classroom.
You’ll see tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, and petunias. But it's not your typical garden.
"Hydroponics is the growing of plants without soil in a water basin, and the roots grow in water, and then there's a UV light that replaces the sun,” says Strickland. “Kids see what is actually going on in that process."
"In a normal garden you can't pick it up and look at the roots without killing it,” says 5th grader, Tripp Rascoe.
Even younger students get to join in on the fun.
"Our second grade has a standard where they have to pollinate plants,” says Strickland. “So I've got a little bee wand, and I'm gonna have second graders come down and help pollinate."
For the kids who don't have a green thumb, help is a swipe away with a gardening app.
"It keeps up with the water, it keeps up with the time for the light, the light's automatic-- it turns on and off,” says Strickland. “And then it tells me when to add the nutrients. So the kids add the nutrients, and keep the water level full."
And Strickland’s students don't mind getting their hands dirty.
"It's fun and you get to do stuff,” says Tripp. “And you don't always have to be in your seat!"
The 4th grade classes at Hillcrest also received a grant to build a greenhouse.