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Orangeburg elementary school among 20 statewide to receive grant for environmental project

The school is one of 20 statewide who received the grant for various environmental projects.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Brookdale Elementary School in Orangeburg received a $2,000 grant from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for their hydroponic gardening project. The school is one of 20 statewide who received the grant for various environmental projects.

“We just wanted to extend the learning and introduce the students to something different. A lot of our students are familiar with the tradition way of gardening which is through soil," said principal Latonya Nelson.

Hydroponics involves planting with alternatives to soil with a focus on water based nutrient solutions. Brookdale's third, fourth, and fifth graders will have access to a small hydroponics lab to put this method into action.

Students will decide the type of plant they want to grow and journal the growth of their plants.

“They have to determine what are they gonna do to show that the plants are actually growing. They have to monitor the water level, that’s one biggie about hydroponics. If it doesn’t have enough water, then the roots won’t have the water that they need in order to grow," said lab coach Delores Childs.

Experts say the popularity of hydroponics comes with benefits due to its efficiency. It allows you to grow crops more quickly than with traditional soil and produce a more successful yield.

Brookdale students will be putting these practices into action during its STEAM night, its annual science event, on February 16.

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