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The Grow Room

Local students transform classroom into hydroponic lab

 

by Jeannie Herres - February 12, 2020

What was once an empty classroom has transformed into what has become affectionately known as the “Grow Room,” and continues to serve as a model and launch pad for knowledge of eco-friendly, sustainable, and renewable sources of growing food. Our students are at the forefront of this emerging technology in food crop production and are pioneering the movement “From Seed to Market” in Blossburg Elementary School.

What first started as an alternative approach to teaching plant growth and development has evolved into a hydroponics laboratory where 4th-6th grade students have taken an active role in improving the world in which they live. Growing plants indoors utilizing hydroponic techniques (without soil) has enabled our students to observe photosynthesis, and to learn how their food is grown. Student knowledge and interest in hydroponics has grown as much as their herb, lettuce, pepper and tomato crops! Reverse osmosis, cloning, PH, pest management, light requirements and total dissolved solids are terms our students utilize daily. Combining STEM and a 21st century approach to empowering students has developed lifelong skills that our students will cherish forever.

Our school administration and especially Mr. Bill Swingle, our principal understands and supports this student driven classroom. The daily tasks of growing seedlings, checking nutrient levels, monitoring and adjusting PH, pruning, pollinating, and harvesting are just of few of the tasks you will see our students doing. The concept is student driven and that’s what sets us apart. Schools from all over the state have visited our “Grow Room” and have taken the concept back to their district to emulate.

Funding for the grow room has been provided through grants and private donations. B.E.S.T, our parent organization has been instrumental in providing ongoing funding and the Jones Foundation has been extremely generous in their support. One company in California was so impressed with our efforts that they donated four LED full spectrum grow lights to our classroom. Mr. Swingle has been a driving force in our development and is always aware of our needs – if it’s necessary, he finds the funds!

We welcome visitors to our “Grow Room” and encourage the community to show their support and appreciation of our student growers.

Credits:

Videography: Ethan Chabala

Video Editing: Ethan Chabala

Writing: Jeannie Herres

Anchor: Rhonda Pearson

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by First Citizens Community Bank, Matthews Motor Company

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