Hydroponic Farming

North Brunswick Education Association (Middlesex County) member Danita Guarino understands that space is becoming a rare commodity in many communities and that future generations will need to create new and innovative ways to grow food. Funded through a $5,510 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, Guarino?s students will learn how to develop the hardiest, fastest growing plants using soil-less technology.

This project is designed to help 105-115 middle school students learn about plants, solve realistic problems, and grow high quality food in a limited space while conserving water. Groups of children will be challenged to grow the best produce using some form of hydroponic gardening. Monitoring of the hydroponic farms will enforce practical uses of chemistry, mathematics, physics, economics, and engineering. Assessment of student progress will include how well they work as a team, solve problems, design, and carry out experiments.

With assistance from a mechanical engineer acting as design mentor, and a Rutgers University professor of plant sciences, students will produce a product and provide information on how they developed and cultivated said plant(s).

To better understand the economics of running a small plant research business, each team will be provided a fictitious bank account with a given amount of money. Teams will draw upon their funds to establish their businesses and buy materials. They will learn that experimenting on plants does not always run as expected and that they must learn from their mistakes.

All materials purchased for this project will be utilized year after year to continue the program.

For further information, contact:

Danita Guarino
(732) 972-1150