They call it an “educational garden”. The new solar-powered greenhouse at Ibn Khuldoon National School (IKNS)—an IB World School in Isa Town, Bahrain—teaches students about biology, botany, gardening, recycling and the environment. And it’s all run by the school’s environmental group, Go Green Club, as part of the creativity, activity, service (CAS) component of their IB Diploma Programme (DP) studies.
“The greenhouse is used as a learning tool for all students at IKNS,” says Yasmeen Nooruddin, one of the DP student members of Go Green Club. “It enlightens them with knowledge from past school syllabi, and is a hands-on learning environment.”
On the school roof are photovoltaic solar panels which power hydroponic and aquaponic units inside the greenhouse. The hydroponics enable the roots of the plants to grow in a nutrient-rich liquid solution instead of soil, while the aquaponics allow for plants and fish to co-exist in the same tank.
Fish and plants are raised together,explains Salman Dhaif, another DP student involved in the project.
“The plants use waste produced by the fish as a source of nutrients. They filter the water that is then reused by the fish.”
Students are now growing many fruits and vegetables in the greenhouse, including strawberries, tomatoes, mint, lettuce and cucumbers. Once harvested, they are offered to other students and staff. There are even plans to supply lettuce and tomatoes directly from the greenhouse to the school cafeteria.
Go Green Club was founded by students in 2009. “It began as an awareness campaign regarding the environment and has since then flourished into one of the most active clubs in the school,” says Alia Buhamad, another DP student involved.
Since the greenhouse is part of CAS, it ties in perfectly with the IB learner profile. “It provides opportunities for inquiry, gaining knowledge and acting in a caring way,” explains Roula Barghout, IB DP coordinator at the school. “Go Green students reflect on the needs of the school community and plan their greenhouse activities and projects accordingly.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]