At New York's P.S. 333, the Manhattan School for Children, science class takes place on the roof. A rooftop greenhouse, built in partnership with Science Barge creators New York Sun Works, houses a year-round farm where kids can learn about plant life cycles, green technology, and sustainable farming practices.
This farm is seriously rad, in a way that the younger kids at the school might not even grasp. The greenhouse is chockablock with innovative solutions: rainwater catchment, wind energy, aquaponics, worm composting, solar panels, and a weather station that lets students monitor conditions in the greenhouse. By the time they graduate in 8th grade, P.S. 333 students will probably have encountered more sustainable living and urban agriculture ideas than most adults in New York.
Based on the school's location, what's really surprising about this program is that these kids aren't going to private school. It's probably too much to hope that something this comprehensive could become commonplace in regular public schools. But New York Sun Works already has plans for greenhouses in eight more schools across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Governor's Island, including one at a Harlem magnet school that focuses entirely on environmental stewardship.
- NYC Rooftop Farm Classroom Cultivates Minds, Urban Gardens
Get Grist in your inbox