Teaching agriculture at schools is vital to increasing the knowledge of the whole community about the food and fibre we need in everyday life and growing these sustainably.
At Danebank we have a small space in which we created a hands-on teaching resource to compliment the Year 7 Grow and Thrive unit. The new hi-tech veggie garden will provide a tangible means for the girls to investigate and experience first-hand how to manage an agricultural environment.
What’s in our Grow & Thrive space?
Three purpose-designed garden beds have been created to offer the girls various perspectives about the processes of food and fibre production, and to investigate the innovative and sustainable supply of agriculturally produced raw materials.
One of these bed is managed using a robotic farming solution. Another is watered using timed irrigation and the third is managed traditionally (manually) by Year 7 Technology students during the school term, but an irrigation system is in place to ensure it survives the school holidays.
More about the robotic farming
Farmbot Genesis is a computer numerical control (CNC) robot that maintains plants and crops, by using an online application! So, your crops can be looked after while you are on your world tour.
Michaela L in Year 10 and Isabella R in Year 8 were instrumental in programming our Farmbot.
They used algorithms and sequences to programme the robot to run at a particular time of day, week or month, or even when the Farmbot’s sensors determine something needs to be done. For example when it's sensor shows the soil is too wet, it will not water.
Each plant is watered at specific intervals, depending on the species, but as mentioned, the soil moisture probe is able to determine whether the plants need more of less watering. The built-in camera can identify weeds, eliminating them before they have had an opportunity to get out of control.
The gardens were designed and developed by Mr Mark Gregory, Miss Simone Lees and Miss Karla Wootton in conjunction with Danebank maintenance and IT staff.
STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are vital to Australia’s future. Danebank aims to provide our students with the best possible preparation for their future, which is why STEM features strongly in our Kindergarten to Year 12 curriculum. Read more here.
As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease. – Genesis 8:22