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The goal of this grant is to attain the equipment needed to teach the students that there are other methods to growing their own food without wiping out land and putting chemicals into the land (fertilizers) to grow their own food.

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Suncoast - Farming In The Classroom with Advanced Hydroponics

grant photo
School:
Westgate Elementary School 
Subject:
Science 
Teacher:
Jonathan Dinaro 
Students Impacted:
23 
Grade:
Date:
October 20, 2021

Investors

Thank you to the following investors for funding this grant.

 

Arlene Pickard - $25.00

Suncoast Credit Union - $948.24

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Goal

The goal of this grant is to attain the equipment needed to teach the students that there are other methods to growing their own food without wiping out land and putting chemicals into the land (fertilizers) to grow their own food.  

 

What will be done with my students

We will start our own hydroponics system of growing food in the classroom. Students will learn to be responsible by making sure they follow the schedule for adding water, fertilizer, and supporting the newly grown plants. Students will also learn basics of harvesting vegetables and trimming back plants to promote new growth. Added into the learning will be the lessons of being good citizens (how hydroponics saves the clearing of land and saves people from putting unneeded fertilizers into the ground).

Once the grant is funded and materials are here, I will introduce students to hydroponics and we will closely monitor how long it takes to start a plant (from seed to seedling). Once the seedling gets bigger and takes off growing, we will be talking about how fertilizer helps aid in hydroponics, since there is no soil needed. We will be monitoring growth frequently and talking about the edible parts of plants (herbs) and how to trim back the plants properly to promote more growth. For vegetables, we will talk about how the seed is inside the vegetables and how the vegetables are used to spread the seeds (animals eat the vegetables and spread the seeds naturally). When the plants are full grown, we will talk about how to maintain them so they can keep on producing all year round and even talk about how to care for them (staking them for support) trimming back the dead leaves, etc.)

This grant will be used for an ongoing activity in my classroom which ties into Science units including: Structures/Functions of Living Things, Water's Journey, Environmental Changes and Transformed By Temperature. This will also be tied into being an eco-friendly citizen which is taught in the classroom.  

 

Benefits to my students

The grant will help benefit all my students as they learn about how to utilize alternative ways of growing food. The expected outcome of this will be that students realize that they do not need to destroy land to grow their own food, They will also understand that as many people put fertilizers down to help their plants/gardens/lawns, that not all the fertilizer gets used and it ends up as runoff that later finds it way into Tampa Bay.  

 

Describe the Students

In my class of 23 students, I have 3 ESE students, 1 student Other Health Impairment (OHI), 2 students who get pulled for Speech services, and 1 Gifted student. I do have 6 students who are in the Lowest 25% of grade level. The majority of the students fall within the average category compared to their 5th grade peers.

I have taught the majority of the students in my class in 3rd grade, the same year the schools were shut down due to the pandemic. The class is a nice and thoughtful class where most of the students do not need much direction.  

 

Budget Narrative

The main piece of the grant is the Aerogarden Farm 24XL. This is the key to the hydroponics setup. Right now there is a 20% off coupon for the Aerogarden 24XL, but don't know when it expires. The next piece is the seedpods. The seedpods will last months and are required - I chose tomatoes because they look fun and enough will grow to share with the students. I am asking for 2 Liters of the liquid plant food so it can last for a while. Lastly, garden shears so I can prune and cut back the plants to promote growth of the tomato plants.  

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 Aerogarden Farm 24XL $895.00
2 Heirloom Cherry Tomato Kit (For Farm Models) $19.96
3 Liquid Plant Food (Nutrients) - 1 Liter $23.96
4 Liquid Plant Food (Nutrients) - 1 Liter $23.96
5 Aerogarden Garden Shears $10.36
6 discount $-433.52
7 Aerogarden $120.00
8 salad greens $14.99
9 lettuce seeds $19.95
  Total: $973.24

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