Ga. middle school students use hydroponics to help with community hunger

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GROVETOWN, Ga. – Not all of us have a green thumb but some Grovetown Middle School students are learning that growing vegetables is easier than you may think. All it takes is a little science and consistency.

You hear the word “hydroponics” and you may think, “What is that?”

Well, several middle school students are using only water to grow veggies that won’t just benefit them, but the community as well.

“The hydroponics machine is used in a way that you won’t have to use soil,” said 8th grader, Kayla Evans.

Believe it or not, history and language arts lessons are what brought it to Mrs. Kimberly Wall’s 8th grade class.

“Me and my students were studying Georgia history and the colonists coming over to Georgia and how the colonists failed because they weren’t able to grow the crops that they were required to grow. We just started talking about different ways to grow crops, and we started talking about hydroponics,” said Wall.

So, the question was posed to the students, “What if the colonists had a hydroponics machine?”

Could Georgia history have possibly changed?

Students started growing plants in beds and buckets.

Then, a parent donated the hydroponics machine.

Now, taking care of it is a daily routine.

“First we have to measure the water and it has to be five milliliters. After we get the water, we have to put five drops of the pH tester, then we have to mix it and then we have this paper and we have to get it at 5.5 exactly,” said 8th grader Camron Ward.

It sounds like it could be difficult but Kayla Evans says it’s easy, once you get the hang of it.

“It looked hard but over time it got easier because we knew what we were doing,” said Ward.

After this experience, the students plan to continue their hydroponics garden on a much larger scale.

“Hunger is a big problem now and with this instead of people having to go buy healthy food, which is expensive, we can actually give them some food and help them feed their families,” said Ward.

That’s something Teacher Erin Wedereit says she’s proud to see in each of her students…thinking outside the classroom.

“Honestly, we just want to see it get bigger and bigger as far as community outreach. And our student’s goal is how can we help our community with the skills we are learning and how can our lives help make other people’s lives better,” said Wedereit.

The students have already received a $500 grant from Home Depot and will be getting more hydroponics machines.

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