MORRISTOWN, NJ - Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only, or in an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. 

Students at Unity Charter School’s fourth grade class are in the process of designing a hydroponic garden. The garden will then be built by the students.  Growing plants, no matter what the technique, is a profoundly human endeavor.  Creating this hydroponic garden is a great way to teach across multiple subject areas and engage various types of learners.  It allows learners to organize information in new and different ways using engineering processes which means they are making sense of information through hands on learning experiences. 

Engineering has become a focus area in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).   The focus on engineering is a vital one because it is inclusive of students in the science classroom.  By asking questions and solving meaningful problems through engineering in local contexts diverse students deepen their science knowledge, they come to view science as relevant to their lives and the future, and they engage in science in socially relevant and transformative ways.   

This project will be featured at the "Festival on the Green" on Sunday September 27.