Hydroponics in the Classroom: Seventh Graders Grow and Harvest Lettuce
Palmer Trinity School has adopted Hydroponics as an integral part of the seventh grade Earth Science curriculum. Adapting hydroponics in the classroom is a marvelous STEM, STEAM and Project-Based Learning component for any science curriculum.
Benefits of Learning Hydroponics
Hydroponic farming, which involves growing plants in water rather than soil, fully immerses students in science-specific concepts including plant nutrition. Students learned about macronutrients, the importance of regulating pH, measuring water quality, and unique lighting requirements--using red, blue, purple and white light.
Math concepts are routinely incorporated throughout the hydroponic curriculum utilizing the metric system, the logarithmic pH scale, and many other topics like volume and density.
Engineering, Technology, Art
Students at Palmer Trinity School then compared several different vertical systems for growing plants indoors including ebb and flow hydroponics and aeroponics.
To incorporate STEM and STEAM into Project-Based Learning, the students designed and built a 3D mini-model of a hydroponic facilities focusing on sustainability and minimizing land use in communities.
As part of the Project-Based Learning (PBL), students designed and created a hydroponic system of their own, following extensive research. Students were asked to consider the climate and location in which the system will be constructed: be it a large city, small rural area, or even a shipping container! The students gave extra consideration to areas where weather limits year round food production.
Embodying the skills of architects, engineers, and scientists, students created unique designs that utilized efficient and sustainable farming methods, minimized land use, and helped protect our Earth now and in the future.