Alaska Educators Guide to Hydroponically Growing, Harvesting, and Learning about Food and Plants in the Classroom

NFT Hydroponics setup growing lettuce

This guide is for Alaska educators to incorporate hydroponics into your classroom. There are five sections included in this guide, and they are presented in order,  with the beginning sections giving you what you need to know/do first to get started,  following with a section on lesson plans to help you teach important aspects of growing  plants. There are many resources out there to help with this process, and this guide  concludes with some of those resources. Using hydroponics in the classroom is a wonderful way to connect students to Read More …

A Reservoir of Information for Urban Farmers: A General Analysis of Upstart University

Intro: Upstart University Powered by Plenty Of all the searching for a reservoir of information that is relevant to large-scale vertical hydroponic and aquaponic farms, there is only one source that floats on top. Upstart University is an online college that is semi-specific of ZipGrow and Deep Water Culture systems that are primarily set up to empower those in growing food systems in all areas. The ZipFarm is a vertical water working system that Dr. Nate Storey with Bright AgroTech designed to use less space and less energy compared to Read More …

Plant Starts for Gifts

Plant Start for Gifts In the spring when it is time to start plants indoors to be transplanted outdoors after the danger of frost has passed is an ideal time to introduce younger students to seeds and plant growth. Students can make and decorate starting pots from toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls that have been cut in thirds. These can be easily decorated using makers or paints, water proof if possible. The plants will need to be started four to six weeks before they are ready to go Read More …

Growing Media Literacy with Garden Foods

Subject Area: Language Arts Appropriate Grade Level: 3rd, 4th or 5th grade Ideal season for lesson: Late Summer, Early Fall Suggested materials: Magazine and newspaper ads (or access to the Internet) Magazine and newspaper articles Art materials An assortment of vegetables, at least some of them garden fresh. What you use will depend on availability and the preferences and needs of your group. Goal and outcomes: Alaska Anchor Standards For Reading, Grades K-12 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually Read More …

Friendly Composting Redworms

Lesson Objective — Students will learn what redworms utilized for vermiculture eat and the conditions necessary for their survival. Subject Area — Life Science Grade Level — Grade 6 through 12 Alaska Science Standard SC2.3 Season to be Best Complete Lesson — This lesson can be done anytime during the school year redworms are available. Time to Complete Lesson — It will take about 30 minutes to complete the lesson. Materials Needed The instrucor will need a Redworm compost box that been operative for several months. Paper Plates Damp Paper Read More …

Ribbons in the Ground

Lesson Objective — Students will learn to identify and describe soil horizons found in the soil in their locale. Students will construct a scale model of the horizons found in their soil pit. Subject Area — Soil Science Grade Level — Grade 7  through 12 Alaska Science Standard SD2.1 Season to be Best Complete Lesson — Fall or very Late Spring. It is best if there is no snow on the ground. Time to Complete Lesson — It will take a half an hour of introductory time in the classroom Read More …

3R Potatoes or… What Do You Do When the Kitchen Gives You a Case of Sprouting Potatoes?

I love trying new things and learning. More importantly, I love learning alongside my students.  This was my second year of teaching in Nenana.  I teach Life Skills and Art in grades 9-12 during the day and after school I run our 21st Century Community Learning Center where we have 4H, Art, Science, Homework, and Robotics clubs along with a few other programs.  During the after school programs, I get the opportunity to work with students in grades K-12. During both 4H and Life Skills, we cover nutrition and growing Read More …

One Species, Many Vegetables – An Introduction to Artificial Selection

Brassica oleracea — An introduction to artificial selection Subject area: Biological Science — 6-8th grade Season: Best in early fall when Brussels sprouts attached to stem would be available and whole plants could be brought into classroom. Could be taught any time of year using vegetables from the grocery store. Time: This lesson is a one class period introduction to the concept of artificial selection. Suggested Materials: Samples of vegetables. Ideally these would include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi and romanesco.   If possible it would Read More …

Sensory Gardens for Children With Special Needs

I am a Teacher’s Assistant in a Life Skills 2 classroom. The majority of our students are on the Autism Spectrum and are non-verbal.   There are many challenges working with our students. I try to make these challenges less stressful by creating positive learning experiences. I have chosen to use indoor container gardening for our sensory garden due to the fact that several of our students are flight risks. Container gardens also make it easier to garden throughout the school year and our students can more easily see the Read More …