One day, outside the agriculture building at Victoria East High School, there will be an area where students will be able to plant several different types of vegetables and learn more about horticulture.
That’s what Angela VanGundy envisions as she watches her FFA students collaborate while building a new starter greenhouse at the campus.
“This greenhouse will be beneficial for everyone. The kids will be able to get to see the process of a plant, from the seed up,” VanGundy said Thursday.
The FFA classes at East High School are building the first greenhouse at the campus as one of their projects for the year. The greenhouse is 8 feet by 24 feet, and the materials for the project were purchased at the end of spring, VanGundy said.
Students hit the ground running, starting on the project on the first day of school. Since Aug. 15, students from every FFA class have participated in the project, VanGundy said. As of Friday, students had built the base, walls and portions of the roof.
VanGundy said having a greenhouse will help create more well-rounded FFA students. There are classes at the school that focus on livestock, ag mechanics and the principles of agriculture, and VanGundy would like to expand to include plant-based research and education.
The greenhouse will have a misting system, sinks, a table, a fan and a solar panel.
“I’ve seen stock shows where students also sell the plants that they have grown, just like we sell animals,” VanGundy said. “There’s different concepts in FFA – there’s always something different for students to learn.”
The project also helps students learn about ag construction. Sophomore Carlos Velazquez, who is in the ag mechanics class, said the project is aligned with the safety lessons students have learned in class. Carlos and several other ag mechanics students worked on the greenhouse Thursday morning.
“FFA is a good class if you want to do a lot of projects,” Carlos, 15, said. “I’m looking forward to doing more projects throughout the year. I think it’s fun,” Carlos, 15, said.
Hunter Crump, a junior, said projects like building a greenhouse are good for students to work on together before other projects such as welding. Hunter said he is interested to see the greenhouse in use once the project is finished.
“Working on something like this is a great way to collaborate and establish good group communications,” Hunter, 16, said.