Learning experiences grow in enhanced gardens
Patton Middle School Family and Consumer Science (FCS) Department has partnered with Tri-M Corporation to modernize their growing operations and expand learning opportunities for students. The district recently unveiled the technically advanced system installed in the Patton high tunnels. Patton Gardens and the Chester County Food Bank operate the high tunnels, which have produced more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce over the past six years. The harvest is distributed to local food cupboards where residents in need can receive fresh and nutritious fresh produce.
The systems installed in the gardens include a weather station which offers real time data on current weather conditions. In addition, Tri-M Analytics installed solar panels to harness sustainable energy to power the greenhouses, moisture sensors to gauge soil conditions, an automatic watering system and a real-time video camera. All the information is cloud-based and can be viewed via an online website.
Integrating math and science standards, students will be able to collect real-time data on the greenhouse conditions. Students will analyze the data in an effort to increase crop yields, adjusting for optimal growing conditions. Patton’s FCS Department continues to educate and offer practical applications for sustainable living, and foods and nutrition, as well as stressing the importance of serving the greater community.