WASHOUGAL — Teachers Patrick Rice and Ryan Hooser created a hands-on science project for seventh-grade students at Canyon Creek Middle School. Using household items and items supplied by the school, students created pop bottle eco-columns to help their understanding of ecosystems while they continue to learn from home. “It is a challenge to teach science when you cannot go into the lab and do experiments to get data to provide evidence for the concepts we are working on,” Rice said in a news release. The students recorded their observations three times a week to learn about cycles of matter and energy, and modeling of the Earth’s processes. “It’s like a model of the whole world in three 2-liter bottles,” Hooser said. The teachers credit a mini grant they received from the Washougal School Foundation. “The mini grants give us a lot more freedom to let students guide their own learning without the worry of long-term budgeting requirements,” Hooser said.