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South Jordan science teacher earns praise for greenhouse learning

Posted at 12:13 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 15:39:08-04

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Throughout Teacher Appreciation Week, FOX 13 News is highlighting the accomplishments of local educators like Joy Leavitt, whose creative approach to STEM learning at Hawthorn Academy in South Jordan is leading the way.

Leavitt teaches fifth grade science and is using a greenhouse to help students learn about the process known as photosynthesis. She came up with the idea in October and built it from the ground-up through community donations and grant money.

Since the snow has cleared, Leavitt’s students have gotten their hands dirty and learned what it takes to grow almost two dozen different types of fruits, vegetables, and flowers from seed to flower.

A viewer tipped FOX 13 News to Leavitt’s hard work and innovation in the classroom.

"I work really hard, and I want to make sure I do, what's best for my students. To know that I am getting acknowledged for the effort that I am putting in makes feel really good,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt says the hands-on approach gives students the opportunity to break away from the virtual world and delve into their natural surroundings.

On Friday, the teacher's class will be selling their plants for $2 at the school, with proceeds being invested back into the classroom. The sale will be held in the west parking lot between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.