Stockbridge InvenTeam works to address food insecurity

Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 6:37 PM EST
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STOCKBRIDGE, Mich. (WILX) -In this edition of Schools Rule, WILX News 10 is talking to a Mid-Michigan high school class that is tackling a major issue worldwide.

Stockbridge High School’s InvenTeam class is researching bio-science and hydroponics to help address food insecurity.

“We thought, ‘Well, let’s look at farming.’ We’ve had a farming program in the past and there’s also agriculture as well around us,” explained Hythem Beydoun, a junior in the InvenTeam class at Stockbridge.

During a typical school year, the team would be working on their oceanic lander. Right now they are grounded because of the coronavirus pandemic so they are shifting their focus. The team bought and assembled a ‘Farmbot.’

“Cities like Detroit and certain areas that are considered food deserts really don’t have access to a lot of produce,” explained sophomore Brianna Polenz. “The Farmbot could be used in a community garden to grow a lot more food with less man power for it.”

The Farmbot looks like a soil bed. It is automated and an electronic arm plants seeds, turns the soil over and even waters plants.

“STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is all about problems and solutions,” said Beydoun. “So anytime you have an invention or project or anything like that your goal is to fix a problem or find a problem to fix.”

The Farmbot occupies one side of the InvenTeam’s classroom and the other is side is occupied by their hydroponics station.

“The Farmbot system and the hydroponics station are working together to solve the problem of food insecurities,” explained junior Brooklyn Rochow.

The hydroponics system grows plants in water so no soil is necessary.

“We are working so hard on this,” explained Mayzie Wright, a junior in the InvenTeam class. “That end goal can have a huge impact on our community but let alone the whole world. It feels good to make such a big impact coming from such a small community.”

That means areas without farmland would be able to grow fresh, healthy produce with a hydroponics system.

“The real world problem showed up in their community and now they’re trying to find a solution,” explained Mr. Robert Richards, the InvenTeam instructor. “It will help not only Stockbridge, but other communities and they’re learning the same skills just with a different application.”

Eventually the InvenTeam would like to send a Farmbot to the American Samoa, where they have worked before. Once a Farmbot is installed there, students would be able to program it to plant seeds and produce from Stockbridge.Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.