Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without using soil. This technique instead uses a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent, allowing the nutrient uptake process to be more efficient than when using soil. Agricultural learning walls and projects in a classroom and throughout a campus provides students with the following learning opportunities:
- Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success- Classroom hydroponics gives students a chance to engage in critical thinking and problem solving, using a real world system with live plants.
- Challenging Problems and Questions- A learning project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge. For classroom hydroponics, these questions can range from simple plant science experiments all the way to entrepreneurship and upper level challenges.
- Sustained Inquiry-Most lessons end when the text books closes. With a hydroponics-based learning project, students have a focal point for a sustained process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
- Student choice and voice-A classroom hydroponics project gives students a chance to make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they grow
- Student Pride-Students have the chance to make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom. The pride and accomplishment is evident when the student is showing off a plant they have grown from seed. These are fantastic projects to show off in a science fair or open school event. The students can even bring the veggies home to cook!