Monday, September 12, 2016

Patton Middle School Green House focuses on sustainability and STEM in a real world learning environment

Charles F. Patton Middle School Family and Consumer Science Department has partnered with Tri-M Corporation to modernize their growing operations. Charles F. Patton FCS teachers, Betsy Ballard and Kim Hisler and Tri-M representatives, Joel Smith, Michael Hecker, and Dwight Kitzun, unveiled the technically advanced system recently installed in the Patton high tunnels. Patton gardens and the Chester County Food Bank operate the high tunnels producing over a thousand pounds of fresh produce over the past six years. The harvest is then distributed to local food cupboards where residents in need can receive fresh and nutritious fresh produce.

The systems installed in the gardens include a weather station which offers real time data on current weather conditions. In addition, Tri-M Analytics installed solar panels to harness sustainable energy to power the green houses, moisture sensors to gauge soil conditions, an automatic watering system and a real time video camera. All the information is cloud based and can be viewed via an online website.

Integrating math and science standards, students will be able to collect real time data on the greenhouse conditions. Students will analyze the data in an effort to increase crop yields adjusting for optimal growing conditions. Patton’s Family and Consumer Science Department continues to educate and offer practical application of sustainable living, foods and nutrition, as well as the importance to serve their greater community through their work with the Chester County Food Bank and Tri-M Corporation.

On Wednesday, September 28th The U.S. Department of Education will be visiting Patton for The Green Strides Tour and Tri-M will be there to showcase their contributions to federal, star, and local agencies.