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October 5, 2015

Urban Hydrofarmers Project sows seeds of success among 'resilient' youth

Teens put science and math to work to become hydroponic farmers and successful green entrepreneurs

These city kids from Boston may not look like conventional farmers, but they're spending part of their summer getting their hands dirty--or more like wet! They're learning how to build solar-powered hydroponic systems that grow organic vegetables without soil.

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Boston College educator Mike Barnett and his team developed the Urban Hydrofarmers Project to engage students in math and science through hydroponic farming and green energy technology. And, because the teens sell what they grow at farmers' markets, the students get to experience green entrepreneurship.

Barnett and his team have also partnered with the STEM Garden Institute to bring hydroponic farming into classrooms throughout the U.S.

The research in this episode was supported by NSF award #1312072, A Strategies Project - Seeding the Future: Creating a Green Collar Workforce Through Learning about Indoor Urban Farming Technologies and Alternative Energy Sources.

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Ann Kellan, Science Nation Producer

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.