pH and Hydroponics
Molly slowly makes adjustments to her nutrient solution pH. She and her classmates are working to understand the role pH plays in hydroponic plant growth and the potential it could have to bring fresh vegetables to rural South Dakota.
Lower Brule Research's inaugural 2016 studies are centered around optimizing local food growth. Students are examining both traditional means of food production and the potential for more contemporary soilless systems, specifically hydroponics. During the school year, students first build the understanding and general skills needed to conduct scientific research. They set up tests, execute basic experiments, and analyze their results.
Top students are selected through an application process to continue their research over the summer months with a paid position working for LBR. During the 2016 summer, students will be studying and optimizing ultra-low-cost hydroponic setups for growing leafy green vegetables. Their ultimate goal will be to not only publish their results, but also to help rural communities like Lower Brule understand the best and most affordable ways to bring fresh vegetables to the dinner table.