Who does Aeroponics?

In an article called, ‘World’s Largest Vertical Farm Grows without Soil, Sunlight, or Water,’ it is said that aeroponics is, “a technique in which crops are grown in vertical stacks of plant beds, without soil, sunlight or water.” With aeroponics and as well as hydroponics vertical farming has taken part and action around the world more and more. As mentioned in the article, “about five new commercial vertical farming operations have emerged over the past few years that use a range of controlled growing technologies to allow year-round harvests of crops that typically have a short growing season.”

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These Aerofarms (aeroponic farms) that are being created more and more around the world sell their products free of pesticide and fertilizer. The reason as to why the production is so successful is because customers are attracted to organic produce, and that is exactly what aeroponic farms offer.

In shorter terms, aeroponic farming, as mentioned on wikipedia, is the, “process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil.” Aeroponic systems in these types of aeroponic farms work by using small amounts of water and very little to sometimes no soil. The way the system works and the positives of the systems is that these “water-based” solutions are used to, “promote healthy growth in the plants,” as mentioned in an article called; “Aeroponics 101: facts about soilless growing technology. In these aeroponic farm systems the water, as mentioned in this article, is, “pumped from the reservoir into the micro-jet nozzles which distribute the nutrient solution to the roots at programmable intervals.” Aeroponics are beginning to become the solution to, “filling the growing need to conserve water and energy, as well as healthy food systems especially in the city and high density populations.

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What used to be an abandoned steel mill in Newark, New Jersey, is now an Aeroponic farm being created that is said to be the largest vertical farm, with about two million pounds of different types of plants and vegetables a year. The company has spent some, “$30 million dollars to bring to reality a new breed of green agriculture that seeks to produce more crops in less space while minimizing environmental damage, even if it means completely divorcing food production from the natural ecosystem.”

Mae Jemison: Teach arts and sciences together

Earlier this weekend I watched a Ted Talks video. It was called, “Mae Jemison: Teach arts and sciences together.” It was a twenty minute video or so and honestly I didn’t know what to expect. To start off, the title sounded interesting. Teaching arts and sciences together, kind of made me think about Innovation Lab. How everything connects and is so similar. And that’s exactly what Mae Jemison talked about. She mentioned how their should be no line between the two. Yes, there may be huge differences between the two but they’re not all that different, the arts and sciences.

In the sciences you expect to only learn about scientific things. How can there be creativity to biology or chemistry or even physics? A lot of people believe that their is no creativity in the sciences, but what about scientific experiments in chemistry? Mixing different chemicals together and trying to create slime, isn’t that creative? I remember freshman year, Biology was a total disaster for me. We did less experiments and mostly learned through videos or reading passages from a textbook. Some classes, are like this. And it really depends to the class. Not all science classes allow students to show their creative sides, but creativity doesn’t just come from the arts like photography, painting, or writing. It also can be seen on the flip side, on the more scientific systematic side.

Sophomore year science, Chemistry, was a bit different. It related more to Mae Jemison and how she believed science and the arts are similar. She mentions how the difference between the  arts and sciences is not constructive vs. deconstructive, because we use both techniques in everything. Sophomore year, when we first began Innovation Lab and started experimenting in our Chemistry class, one day we were told to make slime. We were given the tools to do so and the materials and had to follow step by step directions to get the task done.

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This experiment, slime making experiment, was constructive in a way because it helped us, as students, as scientists, to learn how to create new things and try new experiments. While at the same time, taking different safety precautions and working and collaborating with others. It served a useful purpose. Although it was also a deconstructive experiment. After creating the slime (which in fact, I did incorrectly at first and had to redo), we had to write a critical analysis of what we did and how we did it. Like Mae Jemison once said,“The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity”, they work together and they need each other, because the sciences without creativity may in fact be tedious, and the arts without analysis may never help us to investigate or use meta cognition to think deeper into what we are doing and or reading.

Although, no matter the differences between the sciences and the arts, our imagination is what helps us become better and more creative thinkers in both. With these two, comes different types of intuitive and analytical ideas and creations. In the arts, humanities, and in Innovation lab, we not only read literature and write stories, but we also use analysis to anatomize different quotes in books (like The Great Gatsby or Huck Finn). In the sciences, Stem, and also in Innovation lab, we not only learn what consists of physics such as kinetic energy or velocity, but we use our creativity to learn with our hands and construct dissimilar ideas and experiments as a new way of learning. I think what I’m trying to say is that, no matter the differences of science and art, no matter the differences of physics and modern literature, they are, without even realization, a manifestation of the same thing.

 

STEM experiments

Recently in our STEM class, Mr. Walach and Mr. Schlosser had informed the whole class on doing two different experiments. One experiment focusing most on the conservation of mass and volumetric flow rate, and the other focusing most on water weight and head height.

In the first experiment, experiment 1, we had to measure the speed water exits a hose and how it changes based on the diameter of the input hose and output hose. The formula for speed based on height is;

v=x2hg

where v = velocity of the fluid, x = horizontal distance traveled,
h = height of fluid above ground, g = gravitational constant (-9.8m/s2)

In the second experiment, experiment 2, we had to determine fluid flow rates at the bottom of a system due to gravity. The formula for speed based on height is;

v=x2hg

where v = velocity of the fluid, x = horizontal distance traveled, 

h = height of fluid above ground, g = gravitational constant (-9.8m/s2)

While doing these experiments, I came across many positives but also negatives. During my first experiment I had worked with a group of people I wasn’t so familiar with. During my second experiment I had worked with a group of people I did know, some of my friends. What was most interesting was that the experiment that I had done with the people I knew, had the best results. I think this might be because we were more focused and determined to get the work. But of course, with a little bit of fun.

Here is one photo of my experiment 2 group and I finding the distance of which the water lands:

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When we designed our experiment we created a hose that had about 3”8 in diameter, while the tube was 65 centimeters. We varied the height of the tube to see what will change while measuring the distance of the water that hit of the bottom of the bucket. The constant of this experiment was the height in which the fluid had exited. And the height had constantly changed.

As we did this experiment by measuring the distance, we collected an extensive amount of data. We wrote down the initial starting height (cm) which changed frequently, height from ground (cm), and lastly, the distance water flows (cm).

 

 

Here is some of the data we gathered:

 

Initial starting height [cm] Height from ground [cm] Distance water flows [cm]
Test 1: 95

Test 2: 95

Test 3: 95

35

35

35

56

52

57

Test 1: 90

Test 2: 90

Test 3: 90

35

35

35

45 cm

48 cm

50 cm

Test 1: 85

Test 2: 85

Test 3: 85

35

35

35

49 cm

49cm

47cm

Test 1:80

Test 2:80

Test 3: 80

35

35

35

36 cm

38 cm

40 cm

During and after, we did these two experiments we learned about velocity and distance. Velocity is the speed of something in a given direction. Distance is a scalar (having only magnitude, not direction) quantity that refers to “how much ground an object has covered” during its motion.

We also not only learned more about different physics terms and about experimenting different trials, but we learned more about how to create these experiments on our own and solve problems on our own. Within these two first experiments that we have done this year, we were very self directed and had to make sure we motivated ourselves to get the work done. We also had to not only solve problems on our own but we were able to talk them out with our group members, if we were stuck on something.

I really enjoyed these experiments that we did in STEM and I really hope we do more of these in the future. And hopefully, if they involve water again, I’ll get more water into the bucket than on the floor.