The Power of a Healing Garden STEM Integrated Project

What are the effects of war on mental health?

How can the creation of "Therapeutic Garden" help those affected by war?

In the STEM Integrated Project, "The Power of a Healing Garden," students will explore psychological disorders such as PTSD and depression and look at current methods of treatment. Students will then use their knowledge in the development of a therapeutic garden, including funding, garden maintenance and digital design.


The culminating task is to utilize language as a persuasive tool to pitch their garden concept to a specific client (hospital, school/district, community center, wellness center, rehabilitation facilities, etc).

In addition to the Agriculture CTE focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in English Language Arts, Social Studies and Biology that supplement the primary core area of study.

  • Agriculture: Students will write and deliver their therapy garden proposal. Delivery must be constructed as if in front of a client from a university, hospital, prison or other community organization trying to get the organization to purchase their design and landscaping services. 
  • ELA: Provide the understanding of persuasive language and the art of public speaking
  • World History: Introduce psychological disorders and how the treatment of soldiers after they return from war can lead to a lifetime of mental illness.
  • Biology: Enhance the understanding of how the brain works (form and function) and what parts of the brain are effected with different types of mental disorders.
Skills students will gain in this unit include:
  • Persuasive public speaking, interview skills, and technological skills including PowerPoint, SketchUp
  • Researching using the Internet, recognizing reliable sources and how to site them in APA format

Relevant careers include: Social work, therapeutic horticulture, landscaper, landscape architect, and drafting.

This unit is brought to you by Laura Gallardo (CTE), Paloma Gomez (Social Studies), Carmen Mercer (Biology) and Franci Phipps (English Language Arts) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Team Lead.

This is just one of the dozens of STEM/Integrated and PBL projects available for teachers to use FOR FREE!

Don't have an account yet? Go to www.cteonline.org and register today!

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