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Day 1 Challenge

Today you get to start the process of seed germination!

  1. Watch: “Got Seeds? Now Add Bleach, Acid, and Sandpaper.” 

  2. Set up a germination experiment that includes testing various scarification methods, using the Community Gardening Quest - Germination Challenge worksheet. 

  3. After that, you get to create a plant light maze! Though the experiments will be set up as a Seed Team, each team member will fill out his or her own worksheet to record findings and observations. 


Day 2 Challenge

Your challenge today is to learn about photosynthesis! 

  1. Watch all the following videos to understand the process of photosynthesis (watch on your own so that you hear everything).

    1. The Simple Story of Photosynthesis and Food

    2. Nature's Smallest factory: The Calvin Cycle

    3.  “Vegetation Transformation: Crash Course Kids #5.2

  2. Afterward you’ll be conducting some experiments as a team, but it’s important when you create a scientific experiment to follow what is called the scientific method. Here is a video explaining what the scientific method is and its importance. [Show video: “The Steps of the Scientific Method for Kids - Science for Children” (YouTube / FreeSchool)].


  1. You won’t always follow the scientific method, because not everything in life is a proper experiment, but you will use parts of the scientific method throughout this quest! Act like a real scientist by using the Photosynthesis Challenge worksheet to guide you through this process and record your findings! Though the experiments will be set up as a Seed Team, each team member will fill out his or her own worksheet to record findings and observations. 

If you still have time when you’re done with your experiments, you can continue working on your plant-cell model! If you have any other questions about the terms representing each step of the scientific method, check out these resources: “Scientific Method or Scientific Skills Video” as well as “The Scientific Method.”

Day 3 Challenge

Today your challenge is to conduct an experiment to learn why plants need water and how they get it into their stems, which is called Capillary Action! 


1. Visit "Suck It Up: Capillary Action of Water in Plants".

2. Read the sections titled “Background,” “Procedure,” and “Make It Your Own”. 

3. Using the information on the website and ideas from the “Make It Your Own” section, conduct 

the experiment. Just like with the photosynthesis experiments, you will use parts of the scientific method. 

4. Be sure to get a copy of, or reference The Capillary Action Challenge worksheet, which will help guide you through this process! 

5. Though the experiments will be set up as a Seed Team, each team member will fill out his or her own worksheet to record findings and observations. If you still have time when you’re done with your experiment, you can put the final touches on your plant-cell model!

Day 4 Challenge

Your challenge today is to learn all about soil!


1. Watch these videos:

a) “Who Needs Dirt?: Crash Course Kids #27.1” (Crash Course Kids)

b) “The Dirt on Decomposers: Crash Course Kids #7.2” (Crash Course Kids)


2. Once you’ve watched both videos on your own, it’s game time! Play the PBS Kids Game called Break It Down.


3. Using copies of this Soil Identification Challenge worksheet, sync up with your team members to begin the soil-test experiments on pages 3 through 5 of the California State University document called “Estimating Soil Texture: Sandy, Loamy or Clayey?


4. Though the experiments will be set up as a Seed Team, each team member will fill out his or her own worksheet to record findings and observations.

Day 5 Challenge

Today’s challenge will bring you deep inside a plant, to the cellular level.

  1. Your challenge is to first learn about plant cells by watching: 

    1. All About Cells and Cell Structure: Parts of the Cell for Kids - FreeSchool

    2. "The Plant Cell Clique" | SUNG SCIENCE

    3. Travel Deep Inside a Leaf | California Academy of Sciences

  2. Then, play the Plant Cell Game. This game will test your knowledge of plant cells. Note that you need to do the tutorial before you begin. 

  3. Once everyone on your team has finished the game, you can begin the next part of the challenge: building large-scale plant-cell models! This will be completed as a team. Here are some plant cell examples you can use too: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4. Your materials can be found in the Quest Materials Area. Your criteria are 

  • All organelles must be represented and labeled.

  • Your model must be large enough to clearly see all of the organelles and labels.

  • Your model must be your best possible work.

Day 6 Challenge

Now that we’re all fueled up with yummy honey, it’s time to get to work!

  1. Complete the

  2. Petal Attraction activity from A simplified version has been made available to you. This activity will lead you through learning more about major pollinators and will prompt your group to invent new species of flowers that will attract certain pollinators. At the end of the day, you’ll share your flower inventions with the group and everyone will try to guess the purpose of the parts of your flowers.

  3. Set up your group’s butterfly habitat for the Butterfly Pollination Challenge. Every Friday you’ll tend to and observe your caterpillars to see how they are doing. Each person on your team should have their own worksheet to fill out, though you will be sharing a habitat. 

  4. If you still have time after completing both activities, you can test your pollinator knowledge by playing the NOVA game, Pick the Pollinator.

Day 7 Challenge

Well, on this quest you won’t be farming on a large scale, but you are going to start growing your own food!


  1. First, you need to decide what you want to grow in your Seed Team’s garden. On the tables here, we have a variety of plants for you to choose from. Using the Sow What? Worksheet (one per person on your team), fill in the taste, smell, and appearance of each type of plant. Don’t taste the flowers, though! This worksheet will help each person in your group decide which items he or she wants to plant. 

  2. When you’re done with Sow What?, you can work on completing the Where Will We Grow Best? worksheet. Now, I’ve already selected three sites that might be good places for us to grow our garden, and you’ll use the Where Will We Grow Best? worksheet to research those sites and determine which of the three is best for our community garden. [Pass out levels to each team and explain their use.]  Later, during the daily debrief, you’ll present your findings and the whole studio will vote on the final location. 

If you have time and if you enjoyed the carrot video from the launch and enjoyed learning about where certain types of food come from, you can find other videos in the same series, called the Eat Happy Project.

Day 8 Challenge

  1. Today, using the Planning: Community Garden Leader Checklist and Garden Chart, your challenge is to plan your Square Foot Garden as a team. To learn more about Square Foot Gardening, you can spend time on the Square Foot Gardening website. We’re using this method because it’s an easy way to get a garden going and to divide responsibility among many individuals! There are 16 plots in your garden and each plot will house a different type of plant. (That is to say, we won’t be growing carrots and tomatoes in the same plot, but they might end up in adjoining plots!) 

  2. Each person on your team will be responsible for a certain amount of plots. Divide your 16 plots amongst your teammates evenly.

Day 9 Challenge

Today you will dive deeper into the importance of reusing the food most people call trash. 


  1. Observe your butterfly habitat to see if your butterflies are doing well and to make sure they are tended to as much as is needed. 

  2. Then, as a team, you’ll use the scientific method to learn which materials decompose and are helpful to plants, and which ones don’t and become plain old litter. You will be given multiple objects (bananas, plastic cups, and toilet paper), and you will test them in soil to see if they will break down. 

  3. Record your findings on your Decomposition Challenge worksheet

  4. Once you’ve completed the Decomposition Experiment you can begin vermicomposting! Follow the instructions on What’s the Scoop with Worm Poop? to create a composting system for your garden! For some inspiration before you get going, as a team, watch this cool video called “Vermicompost - Life in the Compost Bin”!

Day 10 Challenge


  1. Check on your Decomposition Experiment and to record your observations. 

  2. Use the Preparation and Building: Community Garden Leader Checklist to begin the process of building your plant beds! Your focus today is only Stage 1: Building the Beds. All of the materials you need can be found in the Quest Materials Area. Today’s challenge involves drilling—do not drill without the supervision of a guide. 

Here is an article called, How to Build a Square Foot Garden for you to read if you’d like more information or would like to take your gardening skills to the next level!

Day 11 Challenge


  1. Use the Preparation and Building: Community Garden Leader Checklist and continue setting up your garden. 

  2. But, before you can move on, there is an important group team-building challenge for the whole studio to complete! On the area where you want your garden to be, the guides have marked with paint stirrers (or stakes) a 16ft x 16ft square. This large square will be the size of our entire garden. Each Seed Team will get an 8ft x 8ft square within the garden, and within that square is where you’ll put your raised bed. The reason each team gets so much space is because as gardeners you’ll need enough room to tend to your garden without stepping on another one! Your team-building challenge is to go out as a whole studio to the 16ft x 16ft square and divide it into four 8ft x 8ft squares- one per team. Once you’ve figured out how to divy it up, you need to decide which team gets which square and figure out how to mark it with the appropriate Seed Team name.

  3. After this, if your Seed Team’s beds were successfully built last time, you’ll move on to Stage 2: Site Preparation and Stage 3: How Much Mulch?

Day 12 Challenge


  1. Finish your Preparation and Building: Community Garden Leader Checklist by completing the “Friend or Foe?” section and finalizing your Garden Bed Planting Chart

  2. Today would also be a good day to revisit your butterfly habitat to see if you’re taking care of it properly or if there’s anything your Seed Team can do better to ensure a successful hatching! 

  3. If you finish these challenges before quest time is up, you can move on to researching the best ways to shelter your plants from the weather and begin coming up with a plan as well as a materials list so you can create your solution to this problem next week.

Day 13 Challenge


  1. Check on your Decomposition Experiments and record your observations. 

  2. Then complete the Planting: Community Garden Leader Checklist 

After you’re done planting, begin filling out the Community Garden Plant Tracking Sheets (at least page 1).

Day 14 Challenge


  1. Start your maintenance plan by following the Maintenance: Community Garden Leader Checklist with your team and begin making your observations. 

  2. Once you’ve made it through the checklist, you may begin (or continue) researching ways to build structures that will protect your garden from the elements (such as wind, too much rain, and heat). 

  3. Once you’ve finished researching, draft a proposal that includes: 

  • The name of your structure or method

  • Why it makes sense in our region and climate

  • Which materials are needed and the cost of those materials

  • And how long it will take you to build it


Turn in your proposal today. You will have next time to begin building your protective structure.

Day 15 Challenge


  1. Your challenge today is to make observations—meaning that you’ll spend some time with your plants and notice something that is different or new. 

  2. Document those differences and share them with your Seed Team. 

  3. At the end of the day, you’ll share your observations with the whole studio. 


Here are some observation examples if you don’t know where to start: 

  • Are there any new buds, flowers, sprouts? 

    • If so, you might write down:“I have 3 new flowers, and 2 are wilting.” 

  • How many sprouts do you have? How many did you plant? 

    • If you had more sprouts than you planted, you might write down: “There are 18 sprouts and I planted 16!” 

  • What colors of the seedlings? 

    • You might write down: “The stem of the sprout is purple, and the leaves are green.” 

    • Or “My leaves are turning yellow!” 

  • How do they look compared to other sprouts? 

    • You might write down: “They are thinner than carrots but taller than beets.” 

  • What has the weather been like? 

    • You might write down: “It recently got cold and has not been so hot in the day.”

  • Do they look strong? 

    • You might write down: “The leaves are wilting and they don’t have enough water.”


      4. After you’ve completed your observations, you may begin building your protection for your 


Day 16 Challenge


  1. Check on your Decomposition Experiments to see how they’re doing and to record your observations. 

  2. Using your Butterfly Pollination Challenge worksheet, place the different types of flowers in your butterfly habitat. Don’t forget to care for the flowers as well! 

  3. Observe your butterflies to see which flowers they go to first. If your butterflies have not yet hatched, place the flowers in the habitat anyway and begin this observation whenever they do hatch. 


With your extra time, you have a few options, and you can also propose something new. You may: 

  1. Choose an activity from Gardening Projects for Kids by Jenny Hendy or the book The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math, Science, Literacy, and Art by Cathy James

  2. Choose an experiment we have already done and do it again, but this time improve your process. 

  3. Choose to make plant-inspired art (research artists Andy Goldsworthy, Georgia O'Keeffe, or Claude Monet for inspiration). 

  4. Make homemade chia pets. You can refer to the activities called “How to Make Your Own Homemade Chia Pet” on and “Kids Crafts: Grass Heads” on

  5. Wrap up any incomplete work from the quest.

Day 17 Challenge

Complete the Community Garden Quest Reflection. This will serve as an exercise that will allow you to practice self-reflection and it will serve as your documentation for this quest.


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