Grow Towers Send Students Upward Bound

Grow Towers Send Students Upward Bound

The UAF Upward Bound program recently hosted UB high school students from Seward, Nikiski and Bethel, along with students and directors from visiting UB programs from Anchorage and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The students toured the Fairbanks campus before heading out to Chena Hot Springs to be introduced to the focal point of their visit: Automated Vertical Bucket Lettuce Grow Tower.

At Chena Hot Springs, the students saw the Chena Greenhouse operations and the original Vertical Bucket Lettuce Grow Tower design developed there. Later in the week, they learned more about the tower while building and automating smaller versions. Before students left Chena Hot Springs, they participated in a design-thinking activity in which they learned a process for working on open-ended and complicated problems.

During a two-day workshop following the hot springs visit, students built and automated grow towers for their own schools.

The automation component was led by ACEP’s Dayne Broderson and Gabriel Low of Raspberry Shake as part of the Teaching Through Technology Alliance. While programming Raspberry Pi devices, students developed their vocabulary and understanding around the programming and automation concepts and components of the grow towers.

Three completed towers were raffled off to local Fairbanks and North Pole school teachers. Completed towers will be sent to the visiting schools.

Learn more about the UAF Upward Bound program.