Hydroponic Towers

By: Lauren, Ellie, Gabby, Zeena, and Maura

The Problem

Soil erosion is a very important but unrealized problem. Currently, seventy percent of topsoil has already eroded, or has degraded, leaving only thirty percent of topsoil to grow crops in. If in the future all the topsoil has eroded, then thirty percent of the world’s food count will have dropped exponentially. If this occurs then the Earth will no longer be able to provide food for its entire population consisting of more than seven billion people. Also, the Wakefield community lacks in healthy lunches, and needs to be educated about gardening and the world wide problem of soil erosion.

Our Solution: Hydroponic Towers

Our goal is to better the Wakefield community and make a difference by buying a hydroponic tower. We plan to provide a healthier lunch alternative for students with the vegetables and fruits we grow, use the tower as a way to educate them and explain the greenhouse effect, gardening, and pH levels, as well as help with the global problem of soil erosion. The Wakefield community will benefit from this because healthier lunch promotes a more active and energetic mind that would bring a more positive and happier attitude to the classroom. Also, hydroponic gardening does not require soil, takes up a minimal amount of square footage, and has been proven to grow quality food quicker, better, and without the need of pesticides.

What are Hydroponic Towers?

A hydroponic tower is a method of gardening that grows plants in a tower like contraption using only water. At its base is a reservoir of water that circulates water throughout the tower. Hydroponic towers eliminate the need of soil by using a rock formation to act as the soil itself. Also, the tower comes with a nutrient formula to replace supplements form soil. The UV lights eradicate the need of sunlight because they act as a source of heat to help the plants grow. But why is it important? It is important because it can help better our Wakefield community as well as the world.

Pictures of Hydroponic Towers

Recipe to Success (Our Process)

The journey to add a hydroponic tower to Wakefield School has not been easy. First, we had to come up with one thousand and ten dollars, not an easy task for five eight-grade girls. But, we wrote proposals, applied for a grant (yet didn’t receive it), and hosted bake sales. By the time we bought our tower in April, we were so excited, yet we learned many lessons about doing a project as big as buying a hydroponic tower for our school.


One-Money is important. Before we started this project, Ms. Enders, our innovation teacher, showed the class a video of a school with multiple hydroponic towers. I know at least one person in our group thought “Wow! That school has three towers. It should be really easy to buy just one.” But, the more we learned, the higher the price seemed to get. We had to start thinking really ambitiously to collect all our funds.


Two- The word of authority is important.. We could have never have done this project without Ms. Enders, Mr. Findler (who has worked with hydroponic towers before), the people in the Finances Department, and the people in the Science Department. These people have helped make our project a reality.


Three- Education is important. We would have made a mess of this project if we didn’t know about hydroponic gardening. When we talked to authority people in our school, every one of us had to be capable of answering the questions asked from the various people who have helped with our project.


Four- Teamwork is important. As a group of five, we had to be able to work well as a team and trust each other to do our part. Without teamwork skills, our group would not have been able to pull of this ambitious a topic, because as we got closer and closer to the deadline, we had to “divide and conquer” to finish everything.


Five- Perseverance is important. If you take nothing else away from our presentation, we want to make sure that you know that never giving up is one of the most important things in any project, big or small. Without perseverance and commitment from every member of our group, we never would have been able to get a hydroponic tower for the Wakefield Community.


In conclusion, the journey to complete this project was not easy. Our group had to all get out of our comfort zones and work really hard in order to make this change. Basically, if you want to make a difference, we’ve learned that these steps are going to help any project as a “recipe to success.”

The Results

We have purchased and received the tower already, and assembled it. We have not yet grown any plants yet but we intend to in the coming weeks.

Assembling the tower

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What does it take to make a difference?

What we learned:


Communication: N.-the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.


  • In our group we had trouble with communicating our ideas to and from each other. So we first started using something like a talking stick, but eventually we just began speaking over each other.


A Mediator: N.-a person who attempts to make people involved in a conflict come to an agreement; a go-between.


  • However, eventually we were able to put the arguing behind AFTER we had a "group therapy session." But it was definitely needed, because once we had a mediator talk to us we put our issues behind and actually talked and were able to eventually plan, raise, and buy our tower.


Confidence: N.- a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.


  • Although before we bought our tower we did hit a couple bumps. Some people in our group had problems with confidence. Overall you don't need to be 100% percent confident to make a difference, but some part of you needs to trust and believe in yourself to speak your ideas out loud.


Failure: N.-lack of success.


  • Failure. There are different types of failure such as the type in our group. We failed to get a grant to pay for the tower but we did not stop and admit defeat but we planned and worked twice as hard to achieve our goal. So failure doesn't make you weak it makes you more determined.


Recommendations for Success:

  • Choose a group and topic that you are fully invested in and choose your group wisely because you will be working with them for the remainder of the year.Also, research and understand the topic before you choose it.

Words of Appreciation

Thank you to every person who contributed to our project either through advice, donations and planning.


Special Thanks:

Mr. Findler

Mr. Maurelli

Ms. Enders

Ms. Nida

Ms. Fields

The Dwelly Family

The Wakefield Business Office

Dr. Pereira

Everyone: Those who helped with the little things that without we couldn't make our dream become reality!


Lastly,

Thank you especially Ms. Enders for teaching us how to make a positive difference in our community and guiding us through our project!

Thank You from The Hydroponic Team!

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