STEAM, the Matadors’ new Related Arts class, had students jumping into hands-on learning in our very first week of school! Indoors, students assembled, tested, and gathered data on their own rubber-band-powered race cars, while outside, they planted fall vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the school’s garden beds located next to the greenhouse. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math; this new class, led by Dr. Brent Holden and assisted by Vanderbilt MEd candidate and garden expert, Rachel Bergin, is part of a new MNPS initiative for middle schools.

Our first garden day included not only planting seeds, but also observing specimens of botanical delights such as herbs, flowers, and heirloom vegetables brought in by Mrs. Bergin and two amazing parent volunteers, Christine Hall and Bart Mangrum, who donated seeds, supplies, and their entire Friday to kick off our fall growing season! The students’ written and verbal feedback indicated that they enjoyed this experience and have a slew of questions to be explored in the coming 9-week rotation and beyond.

Our educational garden/greenhouse program is a village effort! The involvement of interested and dedicated JTM community members is always appreciated! If you can donate your time, funding, or extra tools, seeds, and supplies to the J. T. Moore school garden, please contact Dr. Holden at:


Christine Hall, Rachel Bergin, and Bart Mangrum

Christine Hall, Rachel Bergin, and Bart Mangrum


8th Graders in the garden with Mrs. Bergin