They didn’t know much about the topic but jumped at the chance to grow vegetables inside Horlick High School. In March, Horlick staff members Kelly Goggins and Ana Moreno were asked if they were interested in having hydroponic growers at the school.
“Absolutely,” replied Goggins, Horlick business and culinary arts academy principal. Goggins figured it was a great opportunity to provide a hands-on activity for students, who could also learn about nutrition, food science, and culinary arts.
Using federal grant money, the school purchased four hydroponic growers. First, Goggins and Moreno, Horlick business and culinary arts academy counselors spent a couple of “very stressful” months learning how the growers worked, said Goggins. Culinary pathway students began working with the growers near the end of the 2021-22 school year and even sold homegrown salads on Fridays.
Once students understood they had an active role in growing the plants, they became engaged and had friendly competitions about who could produce the best vegetable. “When kids feel like they’re growing something,” Moreno said, “when they feel like they’re needed here at school, like, ‘This is my section of plants. I can make sure that those grow,’ there’s that extra level of buy-in.”
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