It’s Time to Grow Up! bESTology Week 12

Published by rrfenton on

It’s Time to Grow Up! bESTology Week 12



As the world’s population potentially increases an additional three billion by 2050, feeding the populace is a major concern.  Will there be enough farmland or will we need to move the farm?

Farmers and researchers are already experimenting with vertical and hydroponic farms. In contrast to traditional farming, these new and innovative practices use less space, reduce the amount of water required, make weeding unnecessary, generate less pests and diseases, provide shorter growing seasons, create higher yields and most of all, provide extreme control.  Farmers will become the ultimate scientists, tweaking variables to produce a great final product.

bESTology will cultivate and expand our knowledge of vertical and hydroponic farming.  It’s time to Grow Up!  



As a bESTologist, we think outside-of-the-box.  Use the engineering design process or scientific method to grainstorm how you would design and develop a hydroponic or vertical farm.

While grainstorming, consider the following:

  • Type and number of plant(s)
  • Irrigation
  • Growing medium
  • Aeration
  • Nutrients
  • Temperature
  • Harvest time

Capture your thoughts and design ideas on a Padlet online bulletin board.  Save and export your bulletin board as a PDF document and share the QR code on the BEST Facebook page for other bESTologists to view.

BEST Farm Journal

Let’s share our excitement of Growing Up with elementary students who are also growing up.

Using your BEST Farm Journal, sketch a coloring book page appropriate for grades K-3, titled Growing Up.  Include vertical gardening and/or hydroponics.  If assistance is needed, ask your school’s art class to contribute in transposing all of your team’s sketches into an actually coloring book. Arrange a visit to an elementary school classroom to share your excitement of farming in the future and the coloring book activity.  Encourage the teacher and students to also set up a hydroponic experiment to watch seeds germinate.  

Remember, Growing Up is fun!

BEST Connection

If vertical farming generates higher crop yields in shorter periods of time, will robots and automation be necessary for the additional harvesting manpower? If so, would a BEST robot be a possible solution?

Design a BEST game based on indoor farming. While brainstorming, consider the following:

  • Number and type of plants
  • Product to be harvested
  • Delicate nature of mature products
  • Water (hydroponics)
  • Height (vertical farming)
  • Movement of robot (wheels, track, overhead suspension, etc.)

Include rules, scoring and safety in your design. Compare your proposed game to others on your team.

View the Bet the Farm teaser video and make a prediction of what the actual game will be this coming season!

Community Connection

Is your community Growing Up? Contact your local Cooperative Extension Agent and inquire about local/regional hydroponic and vertical growers. Invite a grower or a cooperative extension agent to your classroom to share the future of farming in your community. Determine the sustainability of an increased community population and the demand for food in upcoming years based on the existing crop supply.

To continue your community connection, visit a local grocery store and search for hydroponic fruits and vegetables. Determine if they are grown locally or transported from another region. If grown locally, arrange for a tour of the facility.

Have you considered becoming a hydroponic home gardener? Have fun Growing Up!

Bloom’s Taxonomy: arrange, ask, capture, compare, consider, determine, export, include, inquire, invite, persuade, post, predict, save, search, share, sketch, use, view, visit, write

Workforce Skills: reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, speaking, active learning, writing, service orientation, persuasion, complex problem solving, equipment selection, systems evaluation, science, judgment and decision making, technology design

Download a PDF copy of It’s Time to Grow Up! bESTology Week 12 –  Click HERE

While the information contained in this website has been compiled from sources believed to be current and reliable, Friends of BEST in Alabama, Inc. (FBA) cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or content changes. Links made from this website are to reputable organizations at the time of posting. However, FBA cannot be held responsible for content on such linked websites. The existence of such links does not represent an endorsement by FBA of any views expressed or products or services offered.


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