1. Mike Barnett
  2. http://iuse.bc.edu
  3. Professor
  5. Boston College, STEM Garden Institute
  1. David Blustein
  2. Professor
  4. Boston College
  1. Laura Foote
  2. Lecturer
  4. Carroll School of Management BC
  1. Rajeev Rupani
  2. Senior Research Associate
  4. Boston College, Lynch School of Education BC
  1. Catherine Wong
  2. http://www.bc.edu/schools/lsoe/uoi.html
  3. Director
  5. Boston College, Urban Outreach Initiatives

Urban Hydrofarmers: Seeding the Future

NSF Awards: 1223173, 1312073

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

Our work with youth combines three components: (1) STEM learning embedded in a social justice framework, (2) a near-peer mentoring approach, and (3) youth purpose and career development. Our proposed work not only teaches STEM skills to youth, it does so by taking them on a personal journey designed to help them discover the relevance of STEM skills for fulfilling future career aspirations, as well as for contributing to the lives of others. The synergistic elements of this program enable youth to learn STEM skills, apply them to a real life problem, learn the relevance of STEM skills for addressing personal and social justice concerns, develop a sense of purpose and aspirations related to STEM fields, and mentor other youth through the same process.

Another major aspect to our work is the (and teachers in K-12 settings) engagement of youth to build and grow hydroponic systems and to sell the produce at farmer’s markets or at markets inside their schools (see http://edibleboston.com/boston-teens-grow-green/). To date, we have trained 120 middle and high school teachers (and an additional 15 in community centers who work with youth) using our in-school hydroponics curriculum (downloadable http://tinyurl.com/hrbh5ux) with our hydroponic systems in their classrooms. This work can be seen on the NSF science nation video: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/hydroponicsed.jsp and in a recent filming of our work for the WCVB's chronicle: http://www.wcvb.com/chronicle/indoor-farmers/41375826.  




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