SMS Students Tackle Food Insecurity With Food Truck Project
Food trucks with built in hydroponic systems may be the next big thing.
Seventh and eighth graders at Somers Middle School tackled the issues of food insecurity and water scarcity in Matt Lugo’s Technology and Engineering Education class by brainstorming ways to incorporate hydroponic gardens on mobile food trucks.
The class recently completed an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme design unit called Invention and Innovation to Help Others. Lugo said students researched how communities deal with water scarcity and learned about the use of hydroponic gardens – gardens without the use of soil – as well as vertical farming used in urban environments.
Students devised plans to address both food insecurity and water scarcity. Using Fusion 360 CAD (computer-aided design) software, the students designed food trucks with hydroponic systems that could help feed people in need.
“I gave the scenario and the students took off with their ideas,” Lugo said, adding that they used many MYP learner traits to accomplish their goal. They were thoughtful, caring, open-minded and risk-taking.
Seventh grader Millie McCormack designed Breakfast Haven, a food truck offering breakfast food that had a hydroponic system at the rear of the truck for easy access. The project, she explained, opened her eyes to the issue of food insecurity. “We watched a video of a struggling mom who was having trouble finding good food to feed her children,” she said.
McCormack added that she thought the idea of a hydroponic food truck would benefit any community, especially where there are schools. “I think it would be very helpful for families, even here in Somers, to have access to a food truck that has healthy, well-made food at a low price,” she said.