Getting to Work
This summer 12 student interns from four different local schools are using science to find solutions to real world problems. They work in groups trying to answer one of these questions: What is the best type of pallet bin to use for large scale vermicomposting in Lower Brule? Can minnows survive a Lower Brule summer in a small aquaponics system? Will behaviorally informed messaging increase people's participation in community gardening? Can people use hydroponics to grow their own cheap, healthy food at home?
Through experimentation students work together to systematically test hypotheses to these questions. They will write up their findings into scientific journal style reports and create short videos on their projects to share with the Lower Brule community. The scientific process is not an easy one. It requires dedication and a focus on the details. We are at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. No one knows the answers to these questions and it can be difficult when your hypothesis fails.
Dry weather can lead to increased grasshopper numbers. Our group studying home hydroponics had several houses in which grasshoppers destroyed the plants. When your hypothesis fails, that is also a form of success. Knowledge is power and a new hypothesis can be tested. That's exactly what our student interns are doing. It's not easy but this is what progress looks like - each day, getting a bit closer to understanding the world a little better. Ultimately that is how we find solutions.