Hands-on hydroponic farming taught in NYC high schools – Fox 5 New York

Fox 5 NY News recently visited Q721 John F. Kennedy Jr. School in Queens to see our program in action. The story, which aired on the 5 o’clock news, showcased how high school students with special needs are learning science and sustainability through our hydroponic farming program.

Speaking with reporter Dana Arschin, students in the class shared their favorite crops to grow – from eggplant and snow peas to arugula and tomatoes – and what they love about hydroponic farming. Said 12th grader Jarule Boapeah, speaking through his electronic communication device, “I love to see plants growing — I feel proud.” 

Special education teacher Conor Barry, who teaches hydroponic science & farming at the school, explained how the program meets students’ sensory needs. “For students who are visually impaired, they are able to hear the water throughout the day, raining down the tower garden. They are able to taste the vegetables, smell the vegetables, to feel what they are doing. So it’s a really hands-on program.” 

It’s wonderful to see these farmer-scientists at work and the enthusiasm they have for what they’re learning. Said student Xavier Lindsay, speaking through a communication device, “I love to see the science of growing the garden and vegetables. It is amazing. We are scientists in Mr. Barry’s hydroponics class.”