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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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Ernest Barka Elementary School in Derry: Garden of Learning

Laura Campbell, teaching artist and landscape designer

Garden of Learning Project

Students at the Ernest Barka Elementary School in Derry created an artistically researched and designed garden with the help of Peterborough teaching artist and landscape designer Laura Campbell.

The Butterfly Garden utilizes the STEAM concept by acknowledging the importance of the arts in the standard STEM curriculum, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math.

Championed by the Rhode Island School of Design, STEAM encourages the addition that “quality learning experiences in the arts during the school day nurtures creativity that benefits engagement in all other subject areas.” The Butterfly Garden made use of skills from a variety of disciplines, including counting, measuring, researching, listening, sequencing, sketching, and painting.

Teachers were also able to embrace the Common Core State Standards in this project by allowing students to engage hands-on by creating 2-D and 3-D models during the initial planning stages. The Butterfly Garden officially opened in June 2013.

Coordinated by teaching artist and landscape designer Laura Campbell.

This project was made possible by an AIR Grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts.


Students work with artist Laura Campbell to design their own garden


A close-up view of the Butterfly Garden


A 3-D model of the Butterfly Garden during the planning stages


Copyright 2014 NH Arts Learning Network