Students at Horseshoe Bend High School now have a chance to learn about hydroponics thanks to a donation from Roger Hendrick.
Hendrick is CEO of AmTech and purchased the equipment to help his daughter learn about growing food in areas with water shortages.
“She got into studying about water shortage,” Hendrick said. “She has projects as part of her education and hydroponics was one of them. We relocated and could not use the equipment so we donated it.”
The students have already set up the equipment and have it running in a room near the woodshop at the school.
“The students helped get everything setup,” teacher Jessica Hodnett said. “They are the ones that got it going.”
With only a few weeks left in the school year, the students hope to learn a little about hydroponics before school starts back in the fall.
“We are going to try to get things started a little before the end of the school year,” 11th grader Brent Cowart said. “That way, when we come back in the fall, we can really get things going. We want the plants to grow. We do not want a bunch seeds left there.”
“We are hoping to experiment a little with the time left in the school year and figure it out,” 11th grader Adam Green said.
Hendrick hopes the students learn more than just hydroponics with the donation.
“I love projects,” Hendrick said. “You have to let kids practice this project management thing. You start with a goal. What is it that you are trying to do? What are your expectations?”
Hendrick even offered some ideas on getting things going.
“Are looking to sell what you grow?” Hendrick asked. “You might be looking at another project team that will package what you grow to sell. If you are looking for a test market, we are pretty liberal at AmTech.”
The students already have some ideas.
“I think we will grow cabbage, lettuce and strawberries,” Cowart said. “I took a chance on this over equine science. I think it is good that we have a chance to work on this. Not many high school students get to learn about hydroponics.”
Hendrick hopes the students learn life long skills in the process.
“If a young person can learn to take something from start to end and produce a result,” Hendrick said, “then they can do anything in the world they want to.”