Tower Garden Provides Unique Opportunities
Through a grant written by Kelly Harris of Juice Plus and funded by the Ashland County Community Foundation, Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center’s Environmental Science students are growing greens and herbs as part of a Project Based Learning assignment. Science instructor Julie Subler is directing the hands-on assignments.
The Tower Garden uses vertical aeroponic technology and LEDs (light emitting diodes) to grow plants indoors in a small area without soil. The first crop is almost ready for harvesting and the students will calculate biomass produced, determine if this process is carbon neutral and will also get to sample the culinary delights of the kale, arugula, Bok Choy and other gourmet lettuces and herbs being cultivated. Thanks to this novel technology, Career Center students get to “have their greens and eat them too!”
The “Tower” is providing multiple ways for Career Center students to explore different scientific principles. Ms. Subler’s chemistry classes will be working to identify the ionic compound formulations used in the water that is pumped up the tower to feed the plants, and Cosmetology Science students are monitoring pH levels in the water as they study the functions of the acid mantle in human skin.
Ms. Subler summed up the project saying, “We are integrating technology, real-world skills and hands-on learning into both our technical labs and our academic curricula..”