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Greenhouses for food and learning

NSF Award:

Arkansas ASSET II  (Arkansas Science & Technology Authority)

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As part of a greenhouse development challenge, middle- and high-school students created innovative designs that are spatially efficient, economical, productive and Earth-friendly. This opportunity required students to balance lighting, irrigation, temperature systems and other factors essential for a viable greenhouse.

Students assembled teams to design and construct miniature greenhouses that families could use to grow food at home year-round. The designs were judged by volunteer faculty and senior graduate students at Arkansas universities. All of the senior high-school students that received prizes indicated they were planning to attend in-state universities.

The competition was sponsored by the ASSET Initiative and the Environmental and Spatial Technology Initiative to encourage young Arkansans to innovate and create new ideas for healthy living. Greenhouses serve as resources for training and teaching future horticulturalists, botanists and farmers but they tend to be very large and spatially inefficient. These small to medium greenhouses, which were designed using computer design drafting software, will provide community members and educators with hearty sources of nutrition, while also serving as hubs of learning and innovation. 


  • a simple, space-saving greenhouse built from recycled materials
A high-school student built this simple greenhouse from recycled materials.
Greenland HS EAST Program

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