knowing what really works and what students need to be engaged in their learning, It is up to educators to enlighten us on what new products and programs we can develop to engage students in career exploration and help them achieve success in high-demand jobs. As one of the fastest-growing sectors of agriculture, hydroponics (along with other high-tech growing methodologies) is changing the way the world thinks about food production… and so much more.
Hydroponics can benefit the learning experience in any classroom environment.Pia Schappeit, Program Director at Kiezfarm
What is the Kiezfarm principle?
Kiezfarm by Farmlyplace started with community gardens nestled within an urban space that provides residents with activities, learning opportunities about urban farming, and of course, sustainably grown produce. Now, it “offers a comprehensive solution to communities including educational, social and sustainable action in cities, supported by recent developments in science and technology – at the same time producing local, fresh, healthy and sustainable food in urban environments.”
By bringing the Kiezfarm principle into your classroom through hydroponics educational systems, you can give your students hands-on experience exploring STEM concepts and developing soft skills. You can also address important topics related to sustainability, farm-to-school, and how food grows as well as ignite a passion for farming in young minds across the country. The opportunities for learning with hydroponics are endless.
Here are the top five reasons educators should bring hydroponics educational systems into their classrooms.
#1: Bring key science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts into the classroom
The success of our economy and our students’ futures depends on an understanding of STEM concepts. Employment within STEM feels continues to grow every year as the demand for expert skills increases. This means nurturing a love of STEM at an early age can set any student up for a successful career in the future.
#2: Offer engaging opportunities to practice soft skills
Collaboration, teamwork, critical thinking, and the rest of the list of soft skills students will use as they work together to grow food is endless. Whether you’re introducing the concept of hydroponics to elementary school students; helping middle school students build their own systems, or teaching secondary and post-secondary students growth stages and nutrients, hydroponics can be a great way to practice the in-demand soft skills your students will need in any job.
#3: Provide immediate hands-on learning opportunities
It is second nature for today’s process-oriented, connected students to interact and use technology to collaborate and create. They demand immediacy in feedback and content. With hydroponics using the Kiezfarm principle, students can get their hands dirty at every stage, from germination to harvesting. Plus, they can hone their communication, teamwork and critical thinking skills as they solve problems and measure success. The interactive experience that hydroponics provides will not only engage today’s students but also allow them to connect with their lessons and understand each learning piece’s relevance on a global scale.
#4: Teach a wide range of topics
Hydroponics offers a hands-on way to teach a wide variety of topics. Science, agriculture, and nutrition might be obvious, but you can also use hydroponics to address engineering, ecology, business and marketing. Students can even practice important soft skills like teamwork, critical thinking and accountability as they work together to grow food. Simply by witnessing the growth and sustainability of food, students can become motivated to continue preserving our favorite planet and do more to nurture mother nature. Depending on your program’s focus, you can incorporate so much more along the way!
#5: Create cross-departmental collaboration opportunities
A huge benefit to having hydroponics in your classroom is the opportunity for cross-departmental collaboration. Agriculture teachers, science teachers, culinary teachers, and food service employees can all use Farmlyplace’s hydroponics to collaborate on concepts of sustainable farming, farm-to-school programs and more. By linking a course that students may be struggling with, such as math, new ideas and ways of understanding concepts can be embraced more readily by seeing them in action.
Why STEM with Farmlyplace?
We're digging a bit more into education and seeking to change the way cities think about food production in the future.
Our global students’ futures depend on an understanding of STEM concepts. Hydroponics exposes students, including girls and minorities, to STEM in multiple ways, from understanding how sustainable food and the growing system work to growing actual plants. Besides general experience, students acquire problem-solving skills while discovering common issues with plants and will make changes and tweaks to help determine what could have gone wrong.
Farmlyplace contributes to resilient cities, saving our future and becoming sustainable as a system. We continue to seek more partners to acquire the Kiezfarm principles and expand them in franchises globally so more students can incorporate STEM learning and urban farming into their education. Learn more about our projects here.