Growing Greener with Hydroponics

Growing Greener with Hydroponics

Thanks to the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation (IRTAF) and Dr. Mike Loftin, Assistant Superintendent of Business, OLHMS is the recipient of a brand new hydroponics system! Hydroponics is the technique of growing plants using a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil. By studying hydroponics, students will learn about plant biology and agriculture in a controlled environment. Library Leaders and Mrs. McCarthy plan to grow a variety of plants, including herbs, vegetables, and fruits with the system.

Dr. Loftin shared, “Not only will students learn how different factors such as light, temperature, and nutrient levels affect plant growth, but this brand new hydroponics system will also teach students about sustainable agriculture practice and the importance of efficient use of resources such as water and fertilizer.”

IRTAF was able to secure a hydroponics gardening system with starter seeds and nutrients for the scholars at OLHMS. Students will have fun learning about sustainable agriculture practices and the importance of growing food in an environmentally friendly manner all while developing skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education through this hands-on experience. Most importantly, the food grown from the hydroponics system will also be a source of food for Beans, the OLHMS bearded dragon!

Library Leader, Rayan, helped build the hydroponics system. The MakerSpace Club and small groups of students from the science department will continue to monitor the hydroponics tower and maintain it. Students who care for Beans will be in charge of using the garden, once grown, to properly feed him.

OLHMS Mustangs are incredibly excited about this opportunity to engage in project-based learning and work as a team to continue developing important skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. This unique and valuable learning experience will benefit students academically, personally, and socially. We can’t wait to see what we are able to grow!

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