2016-02-04 / From The Garden

Hydroponic Garden Carts


Adeline Majewski (front), Charlotte Barley and Zachary Loughlin check the plants that are growing in the garden cart. 
(Photo by Jen Carter) Adeline Majewski (front), Charlotte Barley and Zachary Loughlin check the plants that are growing in the garden cart. (Photo by Jen Carter) Who doesn’t like, especially in the dead of winter, a nice garden salad made with home-grown lettuce with perhaps a bit of kale and basil tossed in? As a result of a collaborative project that combines the goals of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program at Pell Elementary School and the needed know-how from undergraduate science majors at Salve Regina University, Newport students in grades K – 4 are growing vegetables in their classrooms. And bringing them home for dinner.

During the current six- to eight-week STEM segment they are using portable hyrdroponic carts, custom-built through the partnership with Salve, to grow their plants. STEM specialist Mary Nordby says the program “has been a great success. It has allowed our students to work closely with Salve,” she says, “forming a lasting partnership. Hydroponics allows our students to put their lessons into practice. They formulate questions, investigate, keep records, and problem solve.”

Next up, she adds, is “the piloting of an ecosystem containing fish in one of the hydroponic carts.”

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