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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Indoor Gardening by Building a Simple Hydroponics

Lesson Description:
hydoponics Students will be able to...
  • Describe the process of the hydroponics, and explain the implications as relates to environmental protection, and increased food production for world populations.
  • Identify and describe the basic requirements that plants need for growth and development in a hydroponics system.
  • Collect, record, organize and interpret data using a variety of graphic representations.
  • Compare and contrast methods of plant growth (e.g., traditional soil growth and hydroponics) and evaluate for purposes of efficiency.

Lesson Type:
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Gardening

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Thumb Challenge

Time Needed:
One hour to construct and plant, additional observation time
Standards Addressed:
Science Standard 1: Understand atmospheric processes and the water cycle.
  • Benchmark # 3: Know that the Sun is the principle energy source for phenomena on the Earth’s surface (e.g., the water cycle, plant growth).

Science Standard 5: Understand the structure and function of cells and organisms.
  • Benchmark # 2: Know that cells convert energy obtained from food to carry on the many functions needed to sustain life (e.g., cell growth and division, production of materials that the cell or organism needs).
  • Benchmark # 4: Know that multi-cellular organisms have a variety of specialized cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems that perform specialized functions (e.g., respirations, circulations, excretion, and movement) and that the function of these systems affects one another.
  • Benchmark # 9: Know that cells use inorganic compounds (e.g., minerals, water) to make materials that the cells or organism needs.

Science Standard 12: Understand the nature of scientific inquiry.
  • Benchmark # 1: Know that there is no fixed procedure called the “scientific method”, but that investigations involve systematic observations, carefully collected, relevant evidence, logical reasoning, and some imagination in developing hypotheses and explanations.
  • Benchmark # 3: Design and conduct a scientific investigation (e.g., formulate hypotheses, design and execute investigations, interpret data, synthesize evidence into explanations).
  • Benchmark # 6: Use tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret scientific data.

Mathematics Standard 4: Understand and apply the basic and advanced concepts of measurement.
  • Benchmark # 6: Select and use appropriate units and tools, depending on degree of accuracy required, to find measurements for real-world problems.

Mathematics Standard 6: Understand and apply the basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis.
  • Benchmark # 5: Use data and statistical measures for a variety of purposes (e.g., formulating and testing hypothesis).
  • Benchmark # 6: Organize and display data using tables, charts, graphs, frequency distributions, and plots.
  • Benchmark # 8: Understand the same set of data can be represented using a variety of tables, graphs, and symbols and that different modes of representation often convey different messages (e.g., variations in scale can alter a visual message).

Technology Standard 4: Understand the nature of technological design.
  • Benchmark # 3: Identify appropriate problems, which can be solved using technological design (e.g. identify a specific need- feeding growing populations, consider the various aspects- methods of growing food, and consider criteria for a suitable product- various hydroponics systems and their components). Benchmark # 5: Implement a proposed design.
  • Benchmark # 6: Evaluate the ability of a technological design to meet criteria established in the original purpose (e.g., consider factors that might affect acceptability and suitability for intended users or beneficiaries) suggest improvements, and try proposed modifications.

Technology Standard 5: Understand the nature and operation of systems.
  • Benchmark # 1: Know that a system can include processes as well as components.
  • Benchmark # 3: Identify the elements, structure, sequence, operation and purpose of systems.
  • Benchmark # 4: Assemble and disassemble systems to manage, control and improve their performance.

Technology Standard 6: Understand the nature and use of different forms of technology.
  • Benchmark # 3: Know that most technological systems require an input of energy, which is an important consideration both in designing an object or a system and in conserving energy (e.g., so many things require energy that alternative sources to fossil fuels should be used when possible- powering greenhouses for hydroponics systems).

Materials Needed:
  • 2 liter soda bottle
  • Wick (either pre-made or fashioned from cotton)
  • 1-2 teaspoons nutrient solution
  • Baking soda, 1 teaspoon
  • Juice of one half lemon
  • Litmus paper
  • Vermiculite
  • Cilantro Seeds
  • Peat pot, 2”
  • Potting Mix
  • Water
  • Flower pot, 6"
  • "Hydroponocs Instructions" worksheet provided below

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf Hydroponics.pdf
Located in: Math | Science

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