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'Sota Grown Plants

Did you know that food can be grown in Minnesota year round? Yes, even in the dead of winter. This tour investigates the collaboration of Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative, Great River Energy, Central Lakes College-Staples, Electric Power Research Institute and Lakewood Health System to support an indoor hydroponic container farm project known as 'Sota Grown. Join us in exploring the many benefits and challenges that can come with operating a crop production project out of a shipping container.

What are Summer Teacher Tours?

'Sota Grown Teacher Tour 2021 for Food Pod on July 13 2021
The Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Program (MAITC) is excited to offer a unique summer professional development opportunity for K-12 educators. Our Summer Teacher Tours allow educators to observe and experience current agricultural production, processing and distribution techniques, as well as exposure to a wealth of standards-based, agriculture themed lesson plans and resources. Participants will network and share how they intend to use these experiences and resources to integrate agriculture into their curricula to improve student achievement by applying authentic agricultural examples to teach core curriculum concepts in science, social studies, language arts, math and nutrition.

A Breakdown of the Day: Hydroponic Food Pod

Teachers experienced the following while on this tour:
  • Attendees learned about how the idea of this hydroponic food pod came to be
  • Witnessed the technology that allows the 'Sota Grown Food Pod to supply fresh, nutritious food, year-round
  • Investigated hydroponic production and it's benefits and challenges
  • Explored the benefits that this particular hydroponic food had on the surrounding community
  • Discussed related curricular tools and resources to incorporate into your classroom and curricula

This tour was a collaborative project by: Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative, Great River Energy, Central Lakes College-Staples, Electric Power Research Institute and Lakewood Health System.

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Teacher Takeaways

Summer Teacher Tours

Sota-Grown-Container

Exploring the many layers of soil and its importance to crop production isn’t the only thing that students and teachers can learn about during these summer teacher tours. All about wheat, a hydroponic container farm project, and the local to global agriculture diversity, are the other tours that will be taking place this summer.  MAITC offered this unique summer professional development opportunity for K-12 educators – four tours in five weeks of the summer!

““I really like the practical nature of looking at how something works--like the hydroponic pod-- what the benefits are for the students and the community. It is also really important to hear the challenges of doing something like this. We learn from others' experiences.”

“The step-by-step breakdown of the hydroponic gardening process of the containers and their learning curve. I liked the breakdown of the curriculum in the 9-12 session. I want to learn as fast as possible to add more hands-on ideas to our areas of exhibits and it was very helpful.”

“I appreciate your explanation of the resources so I can implement them accordingly. I find fascinating your tours and love how engaging they are. Thank you!”

“I had never heard of growing in containers before. It is a neat concept and I'm excited to share it with my coworkers.”

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