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Hydro Gardening Increases Students' Interest in STEM: An Update on Our Pilot Project

By Jenileigh Harris, Program Associate

Published 03-13-20

Submitted by Scotts Miracle-Gro

Originally published on the National Farm to School Network website

With a goal of connecting more students across the country to indoor gardening opportunities, The Scotts-Miracle Gro Foundation, Hawthorne Gardening Company and National Farm to School Network have launched a pilot project to integrate hydroponic growing systems into classrooms and science curricula this school year. 

Halfway into the pilot year the hydroponic gardens are overflowing and teachers, students and families are seeing the positive impacts in and outside of the classroom. Students are demonstrating an increased interest in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) concepts, as well as an increase in applying critical thinking skills. The hydroponic systems have also enhanced family and community engagement and fostered student behavioral and social-emotional development. 

Across all pilot schools, the hydroponic systems are encouraging students from pre-school to middle school to take ownership over the garden, deciding what to grow, monitoring the system daily, and leading care and harvest. According to teachers, student ownership of the hydroponic units has translated into improved attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors related to healthy eating, improved their knowledge about gardening, agriculture and food systems and provided valuable opportunities for peer learning. 

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Scotts Miracle-Gro

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company With more than $2.7 billion in worldwide sales and more than 6,000 associates, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care, with products for professional horticulture as well. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. The Company also owns Smith & Hawken, a leading brand of garden-inspired products that includes pottery, watering equipment, gardening tools, outdoor furniture and live goods. Additionally, the Company owns Scotts LawnService, a provider of residential lawn care, and Morning Songé¢, a leading brand in the wild bird food category. In Europe, Scotts' brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligene® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scotts.com.

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