Louis Chugranis’ technology classes are engaged in a micro greenhouse project for the courtyard garden at South Orangetown Middle School as part of their study of sustainable design. The initiative was funded through a 2019 Orange & Rockland STEM grant totaling $992.
Each year, SOMS students grow a variety of plants from seed, including tomato, pepper, lemon balm, sunflower, beans, corn, cucumber and broccoli. The new, off-grid greenhouse enables students to extend gardening year-round and learn hands-on about sustainable technologies, electricity and photovoltaics and energy conservation, along with agriculture technology.
“This O&R grant provides us with opportunities to further our investigations into sustainable technologies like hugelkultur and permaculture,” Chugranis explains. “We’re very fortunate to have an administration and Board of Education that encourages technology education. SOMS is a great place to study technology and get our hands dirty.”