US (NY): Third graders celebrate hydroponic garden opening

After muddling through with limited resources for nearly 3 years, students and teachers alike celebrated the opening of a new Green STEM Lab at P.S. 34 in Greenpoint this morning.

Excited elementary students gave tours through the bright green vines of peas, tomatoes and cucumbers, which climbed from hydroponic Dutch bucket systems, soundtracked by the trickle of recycling water running down through tower gardens and across nutrient trays, feeding leafy basil, rainbow chard and kohlrabi.

“The best part is the food,” said 3rd-grader Monte, pointing at the vegetables while giving a tour of the projects. “Plus, you control the weather!”

Funding for the Green STEM Lab, which features, along with the impressive hydroponics systems, a suite of 30 laptops, digital microscopes and a robot for programming practice, came from Cycle 5 of Participatory Budgeting, when resounding support from parents and community members allocated $250,000 to the school’s STEM goals.

Read more at Bklyner (Paul Stremple)

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