LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - School is out for the Thanksgiving holiday, but when students return at two Fayette County schools they'll have some pretty important projects to tend to.
WKYT's Amber Philpott takes you inside two programs going beyond the text book to teach science and giving back.
Science in this Tates Creek High School classroom doesn't require a textbook, its all hands on deck.
Marine science students in Diana Mullins class are learning about sustainable living and working with a Lexington non profit FoodChain.
The assignment, growing largemouth bass and vegetables without any soil.
It's a simple setup, in a 55 gallon blue barrel you will find bass that are just inches long. Together with the plants in a nearby bed they share a symbiotic relationship.
"You have the products from the fish going ahead and feeding our plants which then get pumped out and go back to the fish," said Diana Mullins, Tates Creek High School Science teacher.
Without any soil, students are growing produce like lettuce, kale and dinosaur kale. The plants are grown in beds of shale.
Soon everything, both the fish and the plants will be ready for harvest.
It's a lesson that one day may help others grow their own food more easily.
Across town at the Locust Trace AgriScience farm students are out of the classroom tending to their chickens.
"Everyday we come in, make sure they are fed, we water them and we collect the eggs," said Shane Norris, Agriculture teacher.
A grant allows students to share their bounty with the God's Pantry Food Bank in Lexington.
"We were able to send 193 pounds of poultry meat to God's Pantry, we have sent our first shipment of eggs and it was 24 dozen, the second went out last week and was 27 dozen," said Norris.
Students raise both laying hens, and inside they are tending to dozens of broiler chicks that will be ready in February.
The chickens will be processed and then sent to help those who are hungry in our community.
Its a lesson that can't always be taught in a book.
"They are getting a sense of pride because this is the holiday season, a lot of families in our area due to the economy are struggling and we are able to give a little bit back. They are able to take part by raising these chickens," said Norris.
Two schools, two different approaches to giving back while making the grade.
Both classes plan to continue their work for the community as they as they can. Several students have been inspired to go on to college and study either agriculture science or some type of engineering.