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After a few conversations with my students we decided that the best way to help solve hunger was to think local in order to solve global. Students had discovered that there were several families in our school that deal with hunger daily, they discussed how they could help these families, eventually rendering the conversation down to a solution of creating a garden to help supplement their diets with good, healthy and nutritious food. Students soon came to the realization, however, of the limitations of a traditional in-ground garden in Eastern Canada; hope was lost. One student said “Well, I wonder if we

Joel, Grade 8, working to test ph levels.

can grow stuff inside?”. That was the moment that inspiration, wonder, discovery, business and

The mediums do not provide nutrients instead they give the lettuce roots the room needed to stand upright. Almost any material can be used as a growing media as long as it won't decay or breakdown too quickly. We are in the process of testing clay balls and one student wants to try a household sponge. The key is to find a porous mixture that can hold moisture and oxygen to support the root system. Students decided to use peat moss for our growing media. They place the seed in the media sealed with moisture and let it sit in the dark for 3 days. Their goal is to sell the lettuce and those that are not sold will be given to those in need. This science class mixes natural with the concept of entrepreneurialism, which is the spirit of undertaking, thinking outside the classroom and learning that failure is a natural part of the process. Even though the students' motives were pure of heart and building a hydroponic lettuce garden was going to put food in the hands of people in our school that needed it, no one wants to eat just a head of lettuce. Without a doubt it was disheartening until a student said: “Why don’t we sell the lettuce and use the money to buy non-perishables for these families?”; and the conversation erupted. Students wondered how much we could charge, how much food would be produced, who would buy it… and the conversation continued. That’s when I chimed in and talked to the students about the sustainability of this project. All I asked them was: “How will we continue to fund this project if we give away all the money we make?”. Students got right back to work calculating the cost of electricity, seeds, nutrient, pH balancers, maintenance and breakdowns. Eventually the students decided that the lettuce would retail for $3 each

education moved in together and the idea of a classroom hydroponic garden was born. The hydroponics garden was the perfect mix of science and entrepreneurialism. Students were challenged to consider the scientific method by hypothesizing, observing, measuring, experimenting, testing and even modifying their hypotheses. Together as a class they worked to build a flood and drain system. During the construction, they applied the methods learned in class to calculate pH levels, flood raft measurements and water amounts to name a few. To maintain the project and uphold commitments, students created a weekly schedule of germinating and planting. Eighteen seeds are placed in growing mediums. Unlike regular gardens, hydroponics need growing mediums that take the place of soil.

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Brilliant Labs Magazine: The Entrepreneurial Spirit  

In this issue we will explore what it means to be an entrepreneur through the stories of youth, educators and established entrepreneurs alik...

Brilliant Labs Magazine: The Entrepreneurial Spirit  

In this issue we will explore what it means to be an entrepreneur through the stories of youth, educators and established entrepreneurs alik...