The boxes were sealed on the floor in a shed behind Grand Meadow school. Three teenage students started opening them.
Inside: a collection of seemingly random pieces and parts that soon enough will begin to take the shape of a greenhouse, a new learning center for Grand Meadow students of all ages.
The greenhouse is the product of a $15,000 grant through America's Farmers Grow Rural Education. The district held a groundbreaking ceremony for it on Friday.
"I see a whole lot of possibilities, for preschool all the way through high school," agriculture teacher Roger Dvergsten said during the ceremony. "When you talk about STEM, it's endless."
The district was nominated for the grant by area farmers. Once the district was nominated, it had to submit a grant application, outlining what its STEM program is or could be with the new funding. Grand Meadow schools was one of seven entities in the state to receive the grant.
The greenhouse will be 12 feet by 16 feet and located behind the school's multi-domed building. But before students learn about agriculture inside it, some will learn about construction as they help assemble the structure. The goal is to have the greenhouse completed by the end of spring.
Once it's up, the "endless possibilities" Dvergsten spoke of begin. He went on to say that having a greenhouse is a way to make the learning process practical and relevant.
"They can watch and dig up the roots. As the parts grow, instead of seeing it in a picture, you have the real-life parts you can pick up," Dvergsten said.
Although it's just now starting to get the greenhouse up and running, the district knew it had won the grant since the start of the school year. The district first announced its plans for the greenhouse and outdoor classroom through a Facebook post in August.
Grand Meadow Superintendent Paul Besel said this has long been in the school district's plans.
"We wanted a greenhouse," Besel said. "As a former science teacher myself and having been in schools that have greenhouses built right into them, it's so nice to be able to go ahead and talk about seeds and cross pollination."