Lake Shore Middle School students go leaf green

ANGOLA – Lake Shore Middle School students grew approximately 200 lettuce plants using high-tech hydroponic methods. When the lettuce crop was harvested, 20 gallons of lettuce was donated to Claddagh for meals in their client homes.

Seventh-grade students completed a technology education unit on hydroponic farming technique by planting lettuce seeds in an indoor, artificially lighted teacher-constructed continuous-flow growth lab. Seeds were imbedded in a small “ice cube-sized” piece of rock wool, exposed to artificial light and a water/fertilizer mixture was pumped past the roots to be absorbed. No soil or sun was used and conditions were tightly controlled using timers to simulate ideal growing conditions.

The project paid off when student plants quickly outgrew the growth lab and needed to be taken home or donated to a community service organization. Many students chose to donate their plants. A “soil” plot was created outside the classroom where students planted, watered and tended to their overgrown project results. The plants came to full size and were harvested. Chris Panfil delivered 20 gallons of lettuce to various Claddagh residences for fresh salads. The lettuce was gratefully accepted by residence personnel such as Brandon Rivera (above) at Tramore residence.

Mr. Linn and Mr. Sievert as well as Mr. Panfil’s classes took part in the project.

“Students really enjoyed watching something they created grow,” Panfil said. “Students were able to use technology and techniques that are being used and tested in order to increase production of food using less space and resources. Technology is not just cell phones and video games. It’s problem solving ” added Linn.