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School Greenhouse Receives Additional $5,000 Grant

Lodi Schools received a grant of $5,000 from Lodi Utilities for their greenhouse.  The money will pay almost 60% of the cost for new retractable energy-saving curtains for the facility. This is on top of the $1000 grant the facility previously received to pay for supplies and capital goods.  This donation was put mainly towards the aquaponics program.

The greenhouse will be utilized by over 125 students at the high school for hands-on classes in agriculture and other topics.  Use of the new curtains will be factored into classes recording usage of gas, electricity, and water.  Energy savings are anticipated to be around 40%.  This is achieved by retaining heat in the winter, and blocking it in the summer.  This will have the secondary effect of reducing the need for watering.

“We are thankful for Lodi Utility’s donation towards the retractable curtains,” said Michelle Howe, Science and Agriculture teacher at Lodi Middle School, and recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.  “This will be a great addition to our energy curriculum, which empowers students to learn about energy efficiency through hands-on discovery.”

Students studying plant science and agriculture will learn about energy efficiency using the new greenhouse curtain. For one week, students will measure the temperature of the greenhouse three times a day while the curtain is down, checking the meters and calculating the electricity and gas used to heat or cool the greenhouse. In week two, students will make the same measurements and calculations while the curtain remains raised. Finally, students will graph the differences in temperature, electricity and gas between the two weeks.

Students in the WI Fish & Aquaculture class will do the same in relation to the aquaponics system. They will measure the temperature of water with and without the curtain, along with electricity used for heating the aquaponics system.

“Energy efficiency is really important to us at Lodi Utilities,” said Julie Ostrander, City of Lodi Director of Administration. “We’re pleased to be able to help the Lodi School District enhance their agriculture program by providing these great learning opportunities for students in the community.”

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