Phipps recommends:
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood


Phipps offers Borrowing Bins for teachers and other formal and informal education group leaders. Bins include lesson plans, props and example activities; and they can stand alone as a lesson or act as a supplement to your curriculum. All bins can be rented for $50 for up to two weeks and must be picked up and returned to the Conservatory by a group representative. Borrowing Bins must be reserved at least two weeks before the scheduled pick-up date.

For more information or to reserve a Borrowing Bin, please call (412) 441-4442 ext. 3925.

Butterflies [K-5]

Experience the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly and learn how butterflies protect themselves from predators! Learn how to create and use your own butterfly net to observe butterflies in the classroom, along with other environmentally-friendly butterfly activities. For an extra, hands-on experience, plant seeds to create a butterfly garden!

Compost: Dig It [PreK-8]

Get ahead of the environmental curve by adding a composting lesson to your schedule! Learn about soil formation, components and horizons, the critters that live in the soil, and how compost creates healthy soil for the earth. Use a composter to teach students about reducing, reusing, and recycling. Give your students a hands-on opportunity to learn worm anatomy and teach them to become composters themselves. Create your own take-home composters, soil jars and even a soil corer to test the soil in your area! This bin also makes a wonderful interactive display for any tabling event (instructions and suggestions included).

Includes: Lesson plans for grades PreK-8, an example homemade vermicomposting bin, soil jar, and soil corer, and related books

Let’s Grow (Seeds)! [PreK-5]

Let’s Grow (Seeds)! allows students to learn about the life cycle of a plant, from seed to flower. Students can dissect a real bean to explore the parts of the seed, learn how seeds travel, and discover ways they hibernate. Act out the plant life cycle with younger groups or do a hands-on flower dissection and pollination study with older groups! Students can plant their own seeds for home or the classroom.

Includes: Lesson plans for grades PreK-5, seeds for classroom plantings, related books, planting implements, and seed examples from all over the world


Worms [PreK-5]

This Borrowing Bin is a very hands-on look into the life of a worm. Learn the parts of a worm and how it wiggles, get a close-up look while they crawl on you, and thoroughly investigate a worm habitat: a vermicomposting bin. Learn how to create your own worm bin for the classroom, how to take care of it, and how it can help make your habitat more sustainable! This bin also makes a wonderful interactive display for any tabling event (instructions and suggestions included).

Includes: Lesson plans for grades PreK-5, an example homemade vermicomposting bin, related books, and worm exploration tools