The Science Spot: Math Garden

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Check out the video about our Math Garden project.

Our Helping Hands
8th Grade Class of 2010
Mrs. McDaniel's Class
Mrs. Carter's Class
Matt Pratt
The Science Spot
Havana Junior High

Project Leaders
Tracy (Trimpe) Tomm
Becky Sennett
Joni Pratt
Cheryl McDaniel
Sue Hallmark

Math Garden Goals
• To create an outdoor classroom providing numerous stations for hands-on math lessons targeting state learning standards
• To foster an appreciation for the natural world.
• To provide opportunities for stewardship for our students.

Math Garden Features & Lessons

Planting Beds
Landscaping timbers have been used to create a square, rectangle, pentagon, and hexagon for perimeter, area, and angle measurement lessons.  The planting bed areas have been filled with various flowers and shrubs for math activities related to height, distribution, symmetry and data analysis of seeds and flowers.


Estimatation Challenge - Students measure their hands, feet, and stride to help them estimate the permiter of the planting beds in the gardenb.  The download provides worksheets for both metric and English units. Powerpoints for each lesson are also available (metric or English)

Figure This - Students use the planting beds for a lesson related to measurements, perimeter, and area.

Sunflower, Watermelon, & Pumpkin Patches
Students planted various seeds to grow flowers and fruits that can be used for data collection and estimation lessons.

Lesson: Sunflower Math Challenge - Students use sunflowers for measurement, perimeter, and area lessons. They are also challenged to estimate the number of seeds on their sunflower.

Memorial Tree
The memorial tree and others will be used for lessons related to similar triangles (determining height.)

Shape Sculptures & Mobiles
Various 3-dimensional shapes (cubes, boxes, cylinders, cones, etc.) and mobiles will be made from plastic shapes and displayed around the pergola and memorial tree for geometry-based lessons.

Lesson:  Shape Sorter - Students use shape mobiles for measurement, perimeter, and area lessons. They also use the shapes to investigate angles and other relationships between polygons.

Stepping Stone Axis
Students created the x- and y-axis of a coordinate plane by painting numbers on bricks placed in between rectangular pavers. The coordinate plane will be used for graphing and geometry activities.

Garden Borders
The South garden border will be decorated with number lines for various counting and computation activities. The
North garden Border will be decorated with metric and English rulers for use with measurement activities. The East and West borders will be decorated with various mathematical formulas, shapes, and angles that will be used for lessons in the garden.

Resources:  The Mini Math Cards will also be used to create a set of reference cards for students to use in the classroom and the garden. A larger Mega Math Card is also available.

Weather Station
Students will use the weather station to collect data for lessons in math and science classes.

Students will learn how sundials are used to estimate the time and investigate related math and science concepts. A great sundial lesson is available at the Eye on the Sky website. Other great ideas are to create a Human Sundial or make sundial wristwatches.

If you have any questions about the Interactive Math Garden project, please contact
Mrs. Tracy (Trimpe) Tomm, project coordinator!


The Interactive Math Garden was developed in Spring 2010 as a new addition to our Nature Center. It has been designed with specific features that can be used for math lessons at each grade level.   From the development of the garden this spring to the lessons in the fall, students will have the opportunity to explore real-world applications of math in the world around them. 

To fund the project, we received a $500 grant from the Logan, Mason, Menard Regional Office of Education, along with generous donations from our Helping Hands (see list at right) provided the resources to fund this project. Eighth-grade students and Science Club members provided the man power needed to create the math garden and its features.

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