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How Farmer Scientists are Changing Their Worlds: Earth Month & the 13th Annual Youth Conference

April 25, 2024

Spending time learning in a NY Sun Works Hydroponic Classroom is about more than just growing plants at school. For students whose lives have consisted primarily of concrete and pavement, nurturing the growth of a living thing is a far cry from their everyday experiences. Green space has become an increasingly important topic of discussion for city planners and leaders, but this is primarily in reference to parks and other outdoor areas. We dare to ask, what about indoor green spaces too?

This month is Earth Month, and as we take time to recognize the many initiatives and advancements made in recent years toward stewarding the Earth, we feel it’s equally important to revisit the time-tested wisdom that every month should be Earth Month. This alliterative proverb is certainly a handy social media tagline, but we believe it can also be so much more. It’s an energizing call to action that reminds us of one sustainability’s core tenets: that truly meaningful climate action must be undertaken using a long-term approach. It’s easy to evoke environmentally-friendly energy for a specific month, but to see what it really means to live sustainably, we look to the Farmer Scientists in our classrooms for inspiration. 

For students who adopt the mantle of Farmer Scientists, these classrooms are an oasis of project-based learning, where they can experience firsthand how their actions influence the world around them. A forgetful moment can result in wilted leaves and wasted efforts, directly exposing students to the fact that diligence and consistency are the key to a bountiful harvest. In these inspiring moments of hands-on education, students in our Hydroponic Classrooms build environmentally-friendly habits that they can carry with them as they walk out the door each day.

From forming a deeper appreciation for the fruits and veggies their parents prepare at home, to paying closer attention to just how much water they waste, there’s a lesson to be learned in every harvest. To that end, we’ve created our Discovering Sustainability Science curriculum to support students as they embark on journeys of environmental stewardship. But our goal isn’t just to improve students’ science test scores, it’s also to make them aware that not only is nature all around us, we’re part of it, too. Young people have been levied with the responsibility of facing a climate-altered future, and it’s up to us to provide the opportunities and education they’ll need to not only survive, but thrive. 

Through climate education, families around the city are enjoying regular harvests of fresh hydroponically-grown produce, and learning about the importance of subjects like growing produce locally rather than accruing food miles from afar. In celebration of the hard work our Farmer Scientists have been doing, we’re gathering over 900 students from across NYC at the iconic Javits Center for our Annual Youth Conference on May 23rd. Showcasing the efforts of students to learn, grow, and flourish alongside plants in their classrooms reinforces the importance of these sustainable practices, and gives them an opportunity to shine like they so deserve. And in honor of Earth Month, we encourage everyone, New Yorkers and beyond, to make small and sustainable changes to their everyday routines. Let’s cherish the Earth that has given us life, and provide the sustainable future our young people truly deserve.

For more information about the 2024 Youth Conference, please visit our website.


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