Hydroponics class meets the future of farming

December 12, 2017

STEAM academics middle school

Our STEAM-elective students in the Hydroponics class got to venture out into the world of futuristic farming this morning. 

While it may feel totally futuristic and high tech, this type of indoor farming is an emerging field in agriculture that will likely be commonplace by the time our students graduate from college. 

Today our 5-8 grade hydroponic students visited Indoor Farms of America, a Las Vegas-based agricultural company that designs and ships vertical, high-yield indoor farming units to farmers all over the world. Indoor farming allows farmers to grow up to 40 plants per square foot while using less water and much less space. It also allows farmers to grow year-round rather than seasonally, and they no longer have to worry about severe weather events or droughts destroying their crops. 

David Martin, the CEO of Indoor Farms of America, says food production cannot keep up with the pace of urbanization and the rapidly expanding global population. With our population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, and 70 to 80 percent of our fresh water going to agriculture, our young students need to start thinking now about how to increase our efficiency in food production and water conservation.

Just think about how a system like this can impact a community with very cramped, and very expensive real estate. You better believe they ship these little indoor farms to Hong Kong!

One of the most interesting things the students learned today was about how water, and in-turn food, gets its taste. The vertical gardens have internal water recycling units that use seashells and rocks to replicate the natural cycle. This gives the water the taste that we are familiar with, and gives the plants the natural flavor that comes from fresh water. 

This field trip was a great experience for our students to see how STEAM skills like hydroponics can be used commercially, and also think about how the world will change dramatically over the course of thier own lifetimes. We appreciate Indoor Farms of America sharing their unique farming technology with our middle school students!

 

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