Hingham High School Builds a Greenhouse

By Samantha LeComte 11-1-13

Creative Commons, Wikipedia
Creative Commons, Wikipedia

Innovation is blooming at a local high school in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Plans to build a greenhouse on campus are finally in effect. National Geographic and Sun Chips granted the school $20,000 for the greenhouse and the school raised another $60,000 from fundraising and anonymous donors.

The Science Department at Hingham High applied for the grant in Spring 2009, but quickly understood that their original proposition of a $20,000 donation wouldn’t quite suffice. Director of Science, Katie Roberts, took over financial planning, eliminating structural and logistical challenges to help refine the budget. Much like a glass classroom, the greenhouse will be an approximately 900-square-foot structure in the school’s interior courtyard off of the cafeteria.

“We are looking forward to utilizing this resource to engage our students in multidisciplinary projects, with a focus on sustainable food production,” according to Roberts.

Working side by side with the school’s composting program, the new greenhouse will provide a home to seedlings using composted soil in order to create organic produce. All greenhouse-grown food will be used in the school’s cafeteria. Science teachers have also partnered with STEM Garden Institute with an interest in practicing hydroponic growing, a method that grows plants without using soil. These innovations prove to be invaluable sustainability lessons for classroom use.

Assistant Principal Rick Swanson mentions, “We should finally see this thing come to fruition.” The goal date for completed construction is aimed at late November or early December of this year.