Hydroponics in the Classroom

Scientific Method for Kids- Which Seeding Media is Best?

Hydroponics is the #newsciencestrategy and provides the perfect opportunity to use the scientific method on almost a daily basis. The video, SCIENTIFIC METHOD FOR KIDS, can be used as a lesson guide and provides you with a materials list, procedures, and the steps of the scientific method. Visit the Hydroponics in the Classroom page of this site to download the FREE SCIENTIFIC METHOD FOLDABLE & the FREE SCIENTIST NOTEBOOK. Both documents will engage your learners in determining which seeding media is best?

Here’s a little bit more information about each type of seeding media that is being tested by our Homeschool Scientists.

  1. Cotton:
  • Advantages: Cotton is inexpensive and widely available. It retains moisture well and provides a soft and gentle environment for delicate seedlings. It can be a good option for starting seeds that require a consistently moist environment.
  • Disadvantages: Cotton tends to break down relatively quickly, especially in a wet environment. This breakdown can hinder root growth and potentially cause issues with seedlings’ stability.
  1. Rockwool Cubes:
  • Advantages: Rockwool cubes are a popular choice among hydroponic growers and greenhouse cultivators. They provide excellent water retention while allowing for proper drainage, which is essential for preventing overwatering and root rot. They offer good support for young seedlings and promote root development.
  • Disadvantages: Rockwool is a synthetic material made from molten rock, and some growers prefer more natural alternatives. It may also require special handling and disposal due to its non-biodegradable nature.
  1. Oasis Cubes (Foam Cubes):
  • Advantages: Oasis cubes are specifically designed for horticultural applications. They offer good water retention and aeration, striking a balance between maintaining moisture and preventing waterlogging. They provide a stable environment for seedlings to grow, offering good support for the roots.
  • Disadvantages: Oasis cubes can be more expensive compared to cotton or rockwool. They are also synthetic, which might be a drawback for some environmentally conscious growers.

Each seeding medium has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. Rockwool cubes and Oasis cubes are generally more popular and widely used in commercial settings due to their excellent water retention and support for root development. If you prefer a more natural and affordable option, cotton can also be suitable for certain types of plants. Ultimately, experimentation and experience will help you determine the most effective seeding medium for your particular gardening or growing situation.

Which seeding media will be the best in our experiment? Come back to the blog in two weeks and find out!

Kindergarten’s Adventure in Hydroponics!

Hey there, fellow hydroponics enthusiasts! Today, I have an  inspiring story to share with you all. Imagine a vibrant kindergarten class filled with eager learners, who not only have a love for nature but also a desire to care for their beloved guinea pigs. What do you get when you combine these passions? A fantastic project that brings education, sustainability, and healthy eating habits to the forefront: growing lettuce in a DWC hydroponics system to feed their furry friends!

These young green thumbs and their incredible teacher, Ms. Angelo, decided to ditch the traditional soil gardening methods and embrace the world of hydroponics. DWC, or Deep Water Culture, hydroponics involves growing plants in a nutrient-rich solution instead of soil. It’s an excellent way to explore alternative gardening techniques and teach children about sustainable agriculture.

With the help of Terra Hill Farm and Hydro4Food, the kindergarteners began their hydroponic journey with a DWC system in their classroom. They were amazed by the fact that plants can grow suspended in nutrient. The setup was not only visually appealing but also served as a captivating learning experience for the young minds.

As the days went by, the children eagerly observed their lettuce plants flourishing in the hydroponics system. They diligently monitored the growth of all of the plants using their math skills in an important, real-world project. The kindergarteners delighted in watching the plants grow taller and greener each day.

But what was the purpose of this lettuce-growing adventure, you might ask? Well, these thoughtful little hydroponic farmers were not just growing lettuce for their own enjoyment. They had a special mission in mind: to provide fresh, homegrown greens for their adorable guinea pigs, Oreo and Coco. This project encouraged the children to develop a sense of responsibility and empathy towards their furry companions, understanding the importance of a nutritious diet for their well-being.

As the lettuce reached maturity, the kindergarteners practiced cut and come again harvesting and fed the leaves they grew to their guinea pigs. This hydroponic adventure left a lasting impact on the young minds of Ms. Angelo’s kindergarten class. Not only did they witness the wonders of nature firsthand, but they also learned valuable lessons about sustainability, responsibility, and the importance of eating fresh, healthy food.

Thank you, Ms. Angelo, Ms. DeMoss, Ms. Podany, and Village Tech Schools for GROWing on this Hydroponic Adventure with us!