Science teacher bringing lessons to students outside of the classroom

PHOENIX - It doesn't look anything like a high school classroom, but for teacher John Jung this is where he gets to teach some of his best lessons: a one-acre garden next to Mesa High School. 

"This was an empty lot for 25 years - full of weeds, trash," Jung said. "It was a mess."

Now it's anything but that.  

A pathway winds through the garden with about 90 species of plants. The garden is named Garden of the B's. 

"We're trying to attract birds, bees, butterflies, bugs, bunnies and bats — the Garden of the B’s,” he explained.

Aside from attracting wildlife, this is an opportunity for students to get up close to nature; to actually see things growing, evolving and get out of a traditional classroom setting. 

"There are some things that will happen in the garden that will not happen in the classroom," Jung said. 

The garden has already attracted about 35 species of birds, even the world's smallest butterfly. 

Jung's passion for teaching Environmental Science was just recognized by the North American Association for Environmental Education. He received the organization’s top award.  

Print this article Back to Top

Your Region News
West Valley Phoenix Metro Southeast Valley Northeast Valley Northern Arizona Central/Southern AZ