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                                                                                                                                            Introduction 1



Grow Box Quiz

Introduction
The skills used by students during this unit on hydroponics include observation, measuring, testing, experimenting, recording data, problem solving and critical thinking.

The activities and lessons in this guide are aimed at students in grades 7 -10 but they can be easily adapted for advanced sixth grade students or used as the basis of a more extensive unit for high school science.

Hydroponics is simply growing plants in a solution of water and fertilizer without soil.
Many home gardeners and commercial hydroponic farmers use this method because it is
very pure, precise and allows the grower more control over the plant's growth and development.

As a general rule, plants grown in a hydroponic system will grow more quickly and vigorously than plants grown in soil. Altering what a plant is fed and the way in which it is grown can have varying results. In a classroom, this allows students to develop test theories on plant growth. In commercial applications, this allows growers to grow superior quality produce to what is grown in the fields.

Hydroponics is an ideal means for teaching students plant science, plant nutrition, plant physiology, plant care, hydroponic nutrients and pH testing, entomology and agriculture. A unit in hydroponics also enforces practical uses of chemistry, mathematics. physics. economics and engineering. The monitoring of the hydroponic garden helps instill a sense of responsibility while enforcing skills in testing, analysis, experimenting, recording data and critical thinking. A unit on hydroponics can be started at the beginning of a semester and run through the entire semester, allowing the educator to present the individual concepts and lessons as the plants develop.

Although one hydroponic system is adequate for teaching this unit, having a hydroponic garden for every group of 4-6 students will create the most dynamic learning environment and provide the opportunity for students to hypothesize, experiment, interpret and explore various theories on plant growth and development. The students lessons will be published free for down loading and the Educator's Guide can be ordered for a small fee or is included free with any gardens ordered.

Groups may experiment with differing light levels and different types of grow lighting, with varying pH levels or varying nutrient concentrations, with comparisons between the different growing methods and different growing mediums. Experimenting with the nutrient formulas, pH, light and other environmental factors, helps students to develop a clearer understanding of the scientific process.

What you will will need to teach this unit:
bullethydroponic growing system ( or what you need to build one...see lesson three)
bulletgrowing medium
bullethydroponic fertilizer mix
bulletpH tester
bulletEC meter (optional)
bulletseeds or bedding plants
bulletplant light (optional)

Suggested Teaching Aids:
11 Plant Garden or similar hydroponic garden. 
This Educator's Guide contains the information needed to teach this unit. Each lesson includes a lesson overview, objectives, estimated time, out line, homework/review and an activity complete with required equipment, instructions and goals.


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