How do you get kids interested in science, the environment, and nutrition? By giving them hands-on learning through growing their own hydroponic garden! This is the mission of Green Our Planet, a Nevada-based non-profit organization that runs school hydroponic programs.
how it works
Hydroponics is growing plants in water and nutrients instead of soil. Green Our Planet supplies schools with everything they need to grow a hydroponic garden. This includes countertop growing units (plus seedlings, fertilizer, and nutrients), as well as one commercial unit. The largest can grow 200 plants at a time. It takes less than 30 mins to set up and classes can choose to grow a variety of produce like lettuce, chard, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries.
Green Our Planet’s K-5 STEM Hydroponics Curriculum (accredited by STEMworks) teaches students about the magic of hydroponics.
In this curriculum, students learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics), nutrition, and conservation. Hydroponics educates kids on more than the science of how plants grow, but also touches on sustainability, since hydroponics uses 90% less water than conventional farming. It’s also a chance to learn about technology, since hydroponics is usually a very high-tech growing method.
hands-on learning & natural laboratory
More importantly, students get experiential learning as well. It’s one thing to learn about the life cycle from seed to fully grown plant in a book. But it’s much more impactful when students actually get to see and observe this happen directly with their own eyes and hands!
For example, they can learn how to adjust variables like temperature, lighting, pH, and nutrients in the nutrient solution in order to improve plant production, and make sure plants get what they need to grow.
And at the end, it’s fun for kids to see fruits and vegetables grow, that can be sold at their school farmers markets!
impact & mission
Green Our Planet’s community impact is considerable – schools in 37 states use their hydroponics program. And they also have a separate outdoor garden program. In total, they’ve implemented 600+ outdoor & hydroponic gardens around the country.
We love sharing stories like this because we at Marlo support education too. In fact, that’s why we established this blog on our website – it’s part of our own mission to educate the world about hydroponics!
Source & image: Green Our Planet