NHS' state-of-the-art greenhouse, which was designed and constructed
last summer as part of the district’s Bond Referendum, is officially up
and running, and ready for the upcoming school year. The structure
includes automated ridge ventilation, gas heating and humidification,
and three-stage evaporative cooling to support 600 square feet of indoor
growing space. Construction was completed this winter, and the
botanical research and life science lab that was piloted this past
spring was a huge success.
“Learning to formulate and carry out inquiry based scientific
investigations has become increasingly important for students,” said
District Chairperson of Science, Technology & Engineering Education
David Storch. “With hands-on opportunities to learn about topics like
matter and energy in organisms and ecosystems, stability and
biodiversity, and interdependent relationships in ecosystems, students
gain a deeper understanding of natural systems and can actively care for
In the first few months of use, the greenhouse was quickly bursting with
experimentation and research. A few projects included students
observing and testing nitrogen run-off, learning “square foot gardening”
techniques, and growing geraniums from seed to bloom. Students were
very proud of their work, and according to Greenhouse Coordinator Janet
Byler, were constantly asking to go back out into structure.
“Having this greenhouse not only shows that we value giving our students
first-hand experience,” said Ms. Byler, “but that we, as a community,
value our local environment and want focus on solving real world
problems and phenomena!”
Members of the high school science department hope to integrate use of
the greenhouse into the curriculum this upcoming year and in years to
come, further aligning the district with the newly adopted NYS Science
Learning Standards (NYSSLS).
“We hope for it to become a focal point where kids can gather and see
science in action, and not just from a textbook,” said Ms. Byler.