LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Collegiate School has received a $4,900 STEM grant from the Toshiba America Foundation. These funds will support the purchase and installation of a FarmBot Genesis XL, an open-source Arduino-controlled robot that automatically plants, waters, fertilizes, and weeds a 3-meter by 6-meter raised-bed garden.
The Farmbot project will allow students to learn about agriculture and horticulture through an engineering lens, giving them new insights into problem solving, the principles of robotics, and the future of automated food production.
FarmBot setup, operation and maintenance will fall primarily to the Upper School Robotics team, but because Collegiate is a small-by-design Junior Kindergarten-12th grade school, science students at all grade levels will be able to work with the robot. Additionally, the “fruits” of the Farmbot program’s efforts will be shared with Sage Dining Services, Collegiate’s food service provider.
“This generous grant allows Collegiate to further its STEM programming with a tangible application,” said Interim Head of School Geoff Campbell. “The FarmBot is an example of how technology can change and advance our daily lives. Our faculty is always looking for unique and creative opportunities to further students’ understanding of the curriculum we teach. I applaud them on securing this grant and bringing this advanced robot to campus.”
Toshiba America Foundation’s grants fund projects designed by individual classroom teachers. This “direct-to-teacher” approach brings immediate results. Teachers are able to enhance their teaching styles for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects because the grant supports equipment for hands-on experiments and inquiry-based approaches to the curriculum. TAF grants provide teachers with the tools they need to be more effective educators. The grants make the classroom a more exciting place for both teachers and students.