How Our Hydroponics Program Works
Note: Along with our Our Outdoor Garden Classroom STEM Program, our Hydroponics STEM Program is the only school hydroponics program in the United States accepted into STEMWORKS, which rigorously evaluates STEM programs using strict criteria
Green Our Planet’s Hydroponic System Explained
What is Hydroponics?
The word hydroponic is a combination of the Latin words “hydro” which means water and “ponos” which means work. Hydroponics is the process of growing plants without soil. In a hydroponic system, nutrients and supplements are dissolved into water, creating a nutrient solution. The nutrient solution is delivered to plant roots and then captured and recirculated through the system.
Green Our Planet’s Hydroponic Systems
Green Our Planet provides schools with six different hydroponic systems that can be used in K-5 grade levels and above. The systems range in complexity from simple Kratky containers to aeroponics systems. The larger, commercial systems are mobile so they can be rolled into classrooms or kept in a central location such as a cafeteria, science lab, or other areas.
Currently, the larger Green Our Planet commercial-style hydroponics system can grow over 100 heads of lettuce (or 200 herbs) in a space approximately 4' high, 4' long, and 3' feet wide.
A variety of vegetables can be grown hydroponically in these systems including lettuce, chard, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries and many more. Overall, the systems provide a natural laboratory for students to learn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), nutrition, conservation and entrepreneurship in a hands-on, experiential manner.
What schools will receive with the Green Our Planet Hydroponic STEM Program
Each school is provided with the materials to build (with students) six different hydroponics units and all of the materials needed to run them. This includes germination trays, LED lights, nutrient fertilizers, pH and TDS (total dissolved solids) measurement meters, etc.
A Green Our Planet Hydroponic Coordinator will provide three, hour-long training workshops to teachers and students at each school so that they can learn to set up and maintain their hydroponic systems. The Hydroponic Coordinator will also assist with solving any issues a school may have with its system. The coordinator will provide additional mentoring for schools participating in the hydroponic gardening program as needed.
K-5 STEM hydroponic Curriculum
Green Our Planet's K-5 Hydroponic STEM Curriculum provides lessons in different aspects of hydroponics for every grade level.
A hydroponic manual including basic hydroponic operating information, answers to many frequently asked questions, and links to a variety of helpful resources.
A series of how-to-videos created by Green Our Planet and housed in our Virtual Academy will help guide teachers through the process of hydroponic farming. These include troubleshooting videos to help solve any problems that may arise.