Partner with Us
NY Sun Works Greenhouse Hydroponic Classrooms offer students the opportunity to grow food while learning hands-on about science, plant biology, ecology, hydroponic technology, how humans impact the environment, climate change, nutrition, conservation, and sustainable development.
To facilitate this hands-on learning environment, the Greenhouse Project Classroom can include hydroponic growing systems, a fish farm, a rainwater catchment system, an energy bike, a weather station, integrated pest management and a composting station.
WHAT DOES A GREENHOUSE PROJECT CLASSROOM LOOK LIKE?
NY Sun Works offers 2 classroom options: a classroom conversion and a full-scale greenhouse:
- A classroom conversion is a retrofit of an existing classroom. The ideal room has a sink and ample electrical outlets.
- A full-scale greenhouse project involves building a greenhouse, usually on the rooftop of the school. This is a long-term process that involves architects, engineers, and builders before NY Sun Works can install and program the space
Each option can come with the following:
- Hydroponic Classroom Growing Systems that are used to teach different science concepts
- Compost and Integrated Pest Management
- Energy Bike
- Weather Station
- SMART Board and other technology
- NY Sun Works inquiry-based Curriculum
- Teacher Training and Mentoring
- Technical Maintenance Training
- Community Engagement
- Maintenance Support by NY Sun Works staff
The laboratory operates as an integrated part of the school’s curriculum and prepares children to exceed NYC’s science standards.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO BRING THE GREENHOUSE PROJECT TO MY SCHOOL?
- Establish Greenhouse Project Committee (Principal, Teachers, Parents)
- Contact NY Sun Works
- Identify Classroom
- Identify Sources of Funding and Project Partners (if using city capital funding, process will include the SCA)
- Project Design (definition of hydroponic systems and services)
- Construction and Classroom Installation
- Teacher Training and Curriculum Implementation
- Classroom Maintenance and Mentoring
WHAT ARE THE COSTS AND HOW CAN IT BE FUNDED?
There are many factors to consider when estimating the cost of a NY Sun Works Greenhouse Classroom including source of funding, size of project, existing site conditions, site ownership, programmatic goals, as well as maintenance and operations requirements.
- To date, the total cost of projects for a full-scale rooftop greenhouse have ranged from $850,000 to $2,400,000.
- Classroom conversions have ranged from $35,000 to $250,000 (if including room renovation).
Funding can come from a variety of sources:
- Capital Grants from Local Officials
- Principal’s School Budget
- Small Grants
- Parent Fundraising/Crowdfunding
Project Feasibility: NY Sun Works will convene a kick-off project meeting with the school’s existing core leadership team, i.e., the Greenhouse Committee, including representatives from the school administration to discuss ideal equipment placement, programming, applicability of project to school community, budgetary considerations and development of fundraising concepts.
Classroom Design and Installation: NY Sun Works will design the layout of the systems in the classroom based on electrical capacity and the existing conditions of the space, considering teacher requirements. Project budget will be defined based on the school’s choice of systems and program support.
Professional Development: NY Sun Works provides one on one training with a curriculum specialist to help teachers integrate the Discovering Sustainability Science curriculum into their current school program. Additionally, we offer two citywide trainings per year to bring our partner school teachers together for day-long professional development. Moreover, we offer a certified ASPDP course three times a year to all NYC DOE teachers.
K-12 Discovering Sustainability Science Curriculum: NY Sun Works provides year-round, innovative, grade-specific interdisciplinary curriculum. This curriculum is housed on the NY Sun Works Learning Center, an online hub for teachers and educators that hosts the K-12th grade “Discovering Sustainability Science” curriculum, training videos, community engagement guides and other resources to teach in the Greenhouse Project Classroom.
Maintenance and Mentoring: NY Sun Works provides weekly on-site maintenance to make sure the systems are fully functioning, while continuing to mentor the teacher(s) throughout the year.
NY Sun Works will also provide troubleshooting training for custodial staff.
NY Sun Works will work with your school to “bring the harvest home,” extending the concepts learned in the Greenhouse Classroom to the larger community. We will support your teacher, sustainability coordinator, and parents to host farm stands, Greenhouse Classroom open house events, harvest celebrations, and cooking demonstrations.
NY Sun Works aligns with the mandated sustainability practices outlined by the DOE Office of Sustainability.
Annual Youth Conference:
Greenhouse Project partner schools are encouraged to attend and participate in NY Sun Works’ Annual Discovering Sustainability Science Youth Conference, a live-streaming event showcasing student work from Greenhouse Project Partner Schools. The event features presentations on science and urban agriculture as well as an exciting and diverse lineup of guest adult speakers.
To learn more about how to partner with us download this FAQ guide.
“These labs help to increase student awareness of technology and innovation, and teach skills that will help open up opportunities to our young people in New York’s increasingly high tech economy.”
— Gil Quiniones, CEO New York Power Authority