Sherwood Park, AB. — Strathcona Christian Academy (SCA) Secondary students received both an A+ grade and a $5,000 grant for their sustainable energy project Farmbot for the Hungry.
After receiving the grant, SCA Secondary students have been working diligently to make their project a reality over the last several months. “We’ve been a part of the process from the start,” says Benjamin Loewen, a Grade 12 student at SCA Secondary. “There’s a lot of assembly and programming involved in a project like this, so we’ve been especially collaborative in bringing the idea to life.”
Farmbot for the Hungry envisions students running an automated robotic gardening system powered by solar energy. As the project progresses, students will monitor electricity usage as they navigate a variety of variables—from seeding and watering to weeding and harvesting. They’ll also discover the potential of urban agriculture, while considering the realistic challenges of food security and production.
“Students are learning so much through this hands-on experience already,” says Matthias Cheung, the Science Department Lead Teacher at SCA Secondary. “Sustainability has become less of an abstract concept and transformed into a concrete reality. Students are seeing firsthand what they can do with robotics to make a positive impact on their community and the environment.”
The grant comes from Inside Education’s A+ for Energy program. A+ for Energy encourages kindergarten through Grade 12 teachers to apply for a grant to fund a sustainable energy project. The project must demonstrate measurable greenhouse gas emission reductions and meaningful student engagement. “In February, a whole new group of students will take on the next phase of the project,” says Cheung. “They’ll be in charge of planting, harvesting and recording energy usage.”
Any food the project produces will be given to the Strathcona Foodbank to support their ongoing partnership with SCA Secondary.
“I’m realizing the potential robotics has to change the way we do things,” says Lucas Berkenbosch, another Grade 12 student at SCA Secondary. “We’ve demonstrated how mechanical programming can further sustainability, making life easier for humans and better for the planet.”
Elk Island Public Schools is one of Alberta’s largest school divisions, serving approximately 17,460 students in 43 schools. We’re proud to be an integral part of our communities, including Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Vegreville, Strathcona and Lamont counties and the western portion of the County of Minburn.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902