by Ross Metcalf
Joshua “Josh” Johnson and Myshael Brown, the founders of the hydroponics lab at Future School, gave insight on the challenges they had to face and their plans for the hydroponics lab. Hydroponics is the growing of plants without soil. Hydroponics use liquid nutrient solutions in water instead of nutrients in soil. Hydroponics have existed since the pyramids of Egypt. One of the earliest civilizations to use hydroponics were the Aztecs who used floating rafts on lakes. Today, hydroponics use water tanks, pipes, and other materials such as buckets.
Since October, Johnson and Brown began working on the hydroponics lab. Recently, they began working in the rock building at the school. They have to go through meetings, create plans for hydroponic systems, and find designated areas to start growing in order for the hydroponics lab to continue. Many of the materials for the hydroponics lab were donated by Patrick Boze.
“It was pretty generous. Those materials are expensive,” Johnson said.
While the requirements to set up the hydroponics lab was “mainly getting the gear,” there were other challenging requirements.
“We had to prove we were responsible,” Brown said.
To do this, they had to present plans to their mentor, Paul, and to the faculty for hydroponic systems. Because of the limited space, the two have, getting permission from the fire marshall is one of their toughest challenges.
The hydroponics lab started in October for an exhibition project. While it started out as an idea for a science project from Boyd, the principal of Future School, it later became a project for Johnson and Brown’s mentorship. Their reasons for beginning the project differ.
“The offer came up and I had no internship. I have always enjoyed hydroponics and growing plants indoors. It is an interesting process,” Johnson explained.
“I want to get into the STEM field. For my internship, I tried to get into the med field. However, this deals with biology. It lets me get a foot in,” Brown said.
One of their ideas for the hydroponics lab is to build a hydroponics system with a vending machine. Future School was built at the abandoned girl’s club downtown. The girl’s club left several desks, chairs, a piano, and a vending machine. Brown came up with the idea for using the vending machine for a hydroponics system.
“It is the art aspect of the hydroponics lab,” Johnson said.
“Aesthetic is nice,” Brown added.
One of Johnson and Brown’s goals is to create a hydroponics club. To create the hydroponics club, Brown and Johnson need a designated place to grow.
“We want a club where people can learn more about hydroponics labs,” Johnson said.
“Anyone who has an interest, we can educate them,” Brown said.
“We want more people to help,” Johnson said.