MyGarden was a popular entry in a recent art show that was part of Sigma Xi’s 2019 annual conference. Held this year at the Monona Conference Center in Madison, Wisconsin the international event celebrated the “intersection of art with science”. The Garden featured growing vegetables and then Zinnia flowers on the first and second days of the show. Montreal artist Luc Doucet designed new artwork with a top back board that displayed the inputs that go into every growing crop: photons, especially red and blue wavelengths, from the sun; carbon dioxide (and water and oxygen) from the atmosphere; and 13 essential elements from the soil solution. Those elements were shown as originating from rocks and minerals because over long periods of time rocks and minerals break down to make soil, the fine particles which dissolve in rainwater and release the elements usually in salt form. A bottom front panel was a poster-sized picture of a large scale commercial equivalent of MyGarden, a hydroponic farm photographed by Dr. Merle Jensen the father of controlled environment agriculture.
KoolSci, Inc. Contribution
We introduce kids to science via horticulture in school. They love growing plants and often taking the harvest home to share with their family. We also give them lots of Project-Based Learning ideas. These PBL idea sheets introduce photovoltaics (electrical energy from solar photons}; the periodic table and plant essential elements and where they come from; the electromagnetic spectrum and plants favorite wavelengths; and much more.
The outdoor hydroponic garden can be expanded into quite a little vegetable or flower farm quickly and easily (during the growing season of course) but most schools want the indoor garden for classrooms. PERFECT for summer programs.