Hopewell Elementary Receives $5,000 STEM Grant for Vertical Farming

    From left to right: Hopewell Elementary School Principal David Friedrich, and Teachers Ellen Davis (grade 4), Wendy Heiser (grade 1), and Helen Corveleyn (grade 5).

    Hopewell Elementary School has been chosen as a recipient of the 2017 BASF Science Education Grant. A total of $5,000, the grant will support efforts to expand the school’s “Sustainable, Green Community” initiative by literally and figuratively seeding a vertical farm in elementary school’s greenhouse. 

    The project has also been in partnership with Princeton University, and a plant physiologist at Princeton University has helped design a custom vertical farm system. The first phase of the project, funded through the Hopewell Valley Education Foundation, was the school’s first tower garden, currently in the cafeteria. A second has been placed in Hopewell Elementary school teacher Helen Corveleyn’s science classroom. Additional towers, the school says, will be popping up throughout the year.

    The vertical farms will grow lettuce and other vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers to be used in the school’s cafeteria with the goal of making the school more self-sustainable. In addition, there are strong curricular ties at each grade level which supports science instruction aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, K-12 science-based standards.

    “We are thrilled to expand our vertical gardening initiative which supports our efforts to become more sustainable, provide authentic STEM experiences for our students, and offer nutritious options in our cafeteria,” said Hopewell Elementary School Principal David Friedrich. “We remain grateful to the Hopewell Elementary School PTO, Hopewell Valley Education Foundation and the entire community for their continued support and enthusiasm.”

    Last week, a group representing Hopewell Elementary School attended the 2017 BASF Science Education Grant reception, at the BASF North American headquarters in northern Jersey, and were presented with a check.

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    Mary Galioto
    Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.


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