6 – 8th Grade
Local Solutions for Real World Challenges
The NEW Greenhouse Project 6-8th grade Science+Sustainability curriculum launched in the Fall of 2019. The goal was to create sets of lessons that allow teachers to use their Greenhouse Classrooms to offer an experiential connection in every lesson. The curriculum has three main sections designed to prioritize a hands-on approach to learning: the M.S. FARMING FOUNDATIONS, the M.S. Greenhouse Classroom/GHC CONNECT and the M.S. SUSTAINABILITY EXTENSION.
The M.S. Farming Foundations Unit provides a structure for establishing and maintaining your hydroponic farming systems in the classroom. The idea is that students perform all hydroponics farming tasks, year round, through short classroom routines mastered throughout the unit, as they become confident and independent farmer-scientists. This practice helps with the upkeep of the systems and plant growth. Moreover, students remain invested in the process, as we are in a controlled environment and plants can grow fast. Remember that urban farming in the classroom can be very exciting!
This introductory unit comes with a toolkit for each of the hydroponic systems with age appropriate materials designed to help students work independently and interact with the systems (Word wall cards, jobs/tasks cards, hand lenses, tweezers, tape measures, and more!)
GHC Connect and Sustainability Extensions
The M.S. Greenhouse Classroom/GHC CONNECT Lessons are designed to overlap and extend the new NYC-DOE Science Scope and Sequence for grades 6th through 8th. Hands-on and project-based opportunities are reflected in every set of lessons. Each grade has 12 to 15 lessons that connect to Life Science and, where plants and hydroponics learning is applicable, to Physical and Earth Science.
The M.S. Sustainability Extension offers lesson sets linked to the mandated NYCDOE Science Scope & Sequence units of study. This section of the curriculum expands upon the unique opportunities NY Sun Works’ Greenhouse Classrooms and Program offer: a connection between science, technology, and the environmental needs of the 21st century.
Topics in this section include but are not limited to concepts of environmental sustainability related to water conservation, water quality and pollution, Zero Waste practices, renewable energy, urban farming technology, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) benefits, composting, reuse/repurpose, plastic in our future, climate education and global warming, air quality, ocean health, and food carbon-footprints. This section offers 10-12 lessons per grade that extend into projects connected to real world problems and applications. Students discuss global realities and finding solutions to them become the driving force of each project.
“The goal for us was to construct a system that was functional and efficient. After having our design all sketched out we started construction. We used water bottles and other recyclable components to create the system. We learned so much about hydroponic technology, how it can be simple, and maximize space for food growth.”
—County Prep Students