Upward Bound Students Build Hydroponic Grow Tower

Upward Bound Students Build Hydroponic Grow Tower

As part of ACEP's partnership with the UAF Upward Bound 2019 summer session, students were given an opportunity to learn how to build, automate, and monitor a hydroponic grow tower.

The grow tower, which is now housed in ACEP’s office, is a self-watering system for up to 72 individual plants to grow. Hydroponics systems require nutrients to be added to water, and the water is pumped through the closed-system tower continuously providing nutrients and aerated water to the plants.

The grow tower hosts lettuce. Basil and cilantro will join the mix. Strawberries could be added later this summer.

The grow tower was given to ACEP by UB, and a team led by Rob Bensin will maintain the system and soon reap the bounty!

The grow tower is part of the Upward Bound students’ food-energy-water project. Upward Bound is a college access program that serves high school students from low-income backgrounds to encourage and support them to graduate from high school and seek higher education. The partners are all committed to encouraging students to consider and enter science, technology, engineering and math education and careers.

The summer session is a partnership between UAF Upward Bound, ACEP, Raspberry Shake Foundation, Easybotics, Education for Life, Teaching Through Technology, Chena Hot Springs Resort and more.

To find out more about Upward Bound, visit its website at https://catalog.uaf.edu/services/upward-bound/, and to learn about Teaching Through Technology, partners and the grow tower instructions see https://t3alliance.org/.



Upward Bound students Conner, Raylene, and Cailin inspect the newly deployed grow tower. Photo courtesy of Dayne Broderson.