Rose Acres earns $10,000 grant for greenhouse, hydroponic gardens
Rose Acres earns $10,000 grant for greenhouse, hydroponic gardens
Thursday, February 6, 2020
A greenhouse and hydroponic garden wall are coming to Rose Acres Elementary School thanks to a $10,000 grant from Discovery Education and Novo Nordisk, a multinational pharmaceutical company devoted to defeating diabetes.

Students in the Program for Exceptionally Gifted Students (PEGS), with support from their teacher Robin Chang, wrote the grant as part of the two organization's "Super Health, Super You" Challenge. The community challenge inspires elementary school students to develop a creative plan for solving a health-related problem. Only three schools from across the U.S. were chosen to receive a grant. Novo Nordisk and Discovery Education selected challenge winners based upon submissions that successfully demonstrated solutions to fundamental community health issues.

The PEGS students were initially brainstorming ways to make a difference via social action and community problem solving. After Chang found the grant program, the students were inspired to take action to promote healthy living in their community. They rallied around the cause of helping people eat healthy food. In thinking of ways to get the word out, the idea of getting their hands dirty and seeing where food comes from - and even growing it themselves - seemed more and more like the best way to educate their schoolmates on the issue.

The grant funds will enable Rose Acres students and staff to build a greenhouse at the front of the school and hydroponic gardens on the interior. The PEGS students are hoping to have both completed by the end of the school year. The students are looking forward to learning about lifecycles, bioscience and what plants they can grow throughout the year, and then sharing this information with their school. They hope other teachers will have a hand in growing plants and giving their students the opportunity to visit the greenhouse as part of the science curriculum.

“The students are so surprised and thrilled with the possibilities that lay ahead,” Chang said. “What started off as a fun brainstorming project about making a difference and being ‘heroes’ is turning into a real-life social action plan. This plan will require a lot of support, but that’s what our Rose Acres community of leaders is about. We can’t wait for the next step and are ready for action!”

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PEGS students work with teacher Robin Chang on their greenhouse project.