NOTE: This is a living document and the project is subject to change.

Project Leaders: 

Lucy – Maddie –  Lela – Reid – Nathaniel

Description of Proposed:

We are designing an on campus garden. Basically, we are trying to set up a hydroponics lab that connects to the garden we want to grow. We could also do experiments based off of succulents vs. regular crops, and how our growing environment affects different types of plants. Hydroponics is a really interesting path because it lets us experiment with the nutrients in the liquid substitute that is the replacement for the soil. Similarly, we are finding places within our own school building to put these hydroponics. Therefore, there is an engineering and design portion to our project, as well as a biology portion (the entire growing aspect), not to mention the psychological affects that gardening can have on the teenage minds/ stress levels, as well as adults and children. We can study all sorts of stuff with the garden we are planning on growing. Also, we can incorporate wildlife later in the project, and experiment with ecosystems as well as the codependence between plants and animals. Gardening is something that is easily applicable to daily life and the greater public. Therefore curriculum is easy to make out of this project and all the labs we will do along with it. Hopefully, we will be able to reach a large amount of people with the potential curriculum for both younger and older students we can make.

Lela’s Update – 3.23.17.

Mixture Specifications:

In a large pitcher, mix 1/2 gallon of cool water. Add 3 tablespoons of Great White Premium Mycorrhizae and 1 tsp of Heavy Sixteen Heavy Bud-A nutrient and thoroughly mix.

Soak the growing cubes with the water, plant the seed in the soaked growing cubes.

Reid’s Update – 2/25/17

This is a post from my blog page. Please see my page for information. The link is above under project leaders.

This week while the PVC is getting threaded, Lucy and I have been able to hang the light. This was really difficult because we did not know how to hang it. We learned how to drill through metal. We found different types of tips for the drill. Not only did we figure it out what tip to use, but we got to see what tips we use for other occasions. For example, the tip that we used for metal, would not be the one that we use for wood. After a long time of drilling it is finally up! This week we need to focus on cleaning the hydroponics area and getting the PVC threaded. Lastly, Joe has asked that he sees the research.

Reid’s Update – 2/21/17

Today, Maddie and I made the sample PVC for Felix. This will help him when he makes the threading for the base. Currently the sample PVC is hanging on the white board in the WISRD space.

Reid’s Update – 2/13/17

Lucy and Maddie are working on the base! They are starting to work on the PVC! Looking awesome guys, keep up the great work!

Reid and Lucy’s Update – 1/26/17

The base of the hydroponic system is finally completed! We have made holes in the tarp, built the wood box, and put the tarp on the wood. I am so excited that this is now completed because we can start working on the hydroponic system! Let’s get growing!




Lela’s Update – 1/23/17

We had a bit of a crisis during WISRD today! Water is leaking/seeping into the area under the stairs where we are working. This means construction of the space is halted for now as we are unable to build with water soaking the carpeting underneath. We also had to consolidate and move all the materials (especially the electronic components like the fan and light) into the plastic containers so nothing is being destroyed. We met with facilities and they are working on discovering the source of the water flow, and once we figure out the problem, we can resume building. I expect this is we be a catch-up week of blog posting and logistic management. I also worry that the water issue will not be resolved soon enough. Wish us luck!

Reid’s Update – 1/17/17

Currently, Maddie and Lela are working on a blueprint for the hydroponic base. Joe will be going to get the wood hopefully this week. He was going to get it today, however, the facilities car would not turn on. If the car is able to get fixed soon, Joe will be able to go and purchase the wood. The attached photo is of Lela and Maddie working on the project.


Lela’s Update – 1/11/17

I measured the dimensions of the catch basin we are building which will be lined with rubber to protect the carpeting of the area we are building in to be protected from water if there is any kind of spillage (god forbid). Randy (head of facilities at Wildwood) and Joe Wise are going to OSH or Home Depot to buy the materials we need for the catch basin as well as some PVC and mesh netting for the area. We will plan to hang a curtain which will resemble a mosquito net to protect the area from any students who try to touch the unit. This mesh netting will still enable the area to be viewed and observed, but hopefully provide an area that is protected. I worked on taping down an outline of where the catch basin will be located. This means that, now, we need to decide if we want the length of the catch basin to be perpendicular or flush with the wall.

Reid’s Update – 1/9/17

To do list:

  • Finish Sign
  • Give Joe measurements
  • Build Supplies
  • POST

Lela’s Update – 1/5/17

We had our meeting with Greencoast Hydroponics and we purchased all of the materials (aside from PVC piping and metal threaded piping) yesterday. We are now officially in the construction phase of the project. Nathaniel has still been narrowing down lab options and we will have concretely chosen our lab by the end of next week. The building plans we have have been outlined by the incredible staff at Greencoast Hydroponics, and once we finish collecting all the necessary materials, construction will begin.

Lela’s Update – 12/15/16

We planned goals for the first couple weeks following our return from winter break. Here is the (somewhat finished) list of items to work on and finish after break:

  • find 2 labs for nathaniel to run
  • meet with facilities about area under library (feasibility)
  • compile and store 3 categories of parts (buy, scavenge, make)
  • hardware store run (pvc, timer, rolling cart)
  • logo?

Maddie’s Update – 12/15/16

Here are the goals that we aim to complete before the end of next semester/ the year: we will have built the hydroponics unit, we will have tested and confirmed that the unit works, and we will have completed 2 labs and made a continuity plan. Have a holly jolly holiday.

Lucy’s Update – 12/12/16

I am currently working on my Science Goals for the project proposal. I have talked to different members of the project and we are brainstorming goals for the proposal section. Once I finish the goals section, I will prepare for the presentation tomorrow.

Reid’s Update – 12/11/16

We need to keep working on the project proposal because we are presenting this week. I really like how everyone has been working hard on updating their pages and their section of the proposal! Nice work! Let’s keep it up! I have finished writing the technical aspects. What are some edits I can make to it?

The hydroponic system will be placed under the stairway, located outside the library. This is the perfect location for the system because hydroponics function easier when placed indoors and in the shade. This type of planter that we will be building is known as a drip system. This means that the water will be set on a timer. Once the timer has been set off, the water will drip into each plant. The watering process could take over 30 minutes because it is dripping slowly into each pot. However, in every type of gardening situation the plant will not be able to absorb all of the water. That is why, a reservoir will be stored under the planter. Our design has a PVC base. It will be able to hold the planter on the top. Then, on the bottom is the reservoir tank that will store the leftover water. We are intrigued to do something with this water, so it will not just go to waste. The Hydroponics team understands that this is a very complicated design, so we have incorporated a photo to show you what it would look like.  

(See photo in the photo section)

To reiterate, as seen on the top, and being held in place by PVC is the planter. Then there is a pipe going from that planter and into the reservoir. Something unique about the design is that the reservoir is on wheels. It is easy to transport. That is why the location (under the stairway by the library) is perfect because it is close to an elevator. Also, the location has access to water, which is another really important aspect of this project. Lastly, we want to purchase fans and lights. This will be helpful to mimic the outside. We have measured below the stairway, and we know that these ideas can be built there. If you have any questions about the design please email the hydroponics team. We would be happy to discuss or answer any questions that you might have.

Maddie’s Update – 12/10/16

Below are the personal descriptions. Email me, and let me know what you think!

Reid – Reid Broudy, a 10th grade student here at Wildwood is a part of WISRD. He is a leader in the Hydroponics Group and is an organizational whiz. He is always posting on both the project page and his own, keeping things rolling and is very skilled in the financial department. Reid has experience with business and a natural knack for finance, adding value to the budget planning and the overall life science portion of WISRD.

Lucy – Lucy Hofmann is also a sophomore here at Wildwood, working closely with both Reid and Maddie for a long while now. She is a very sense-minded and capable young woman and has participated in many WISRD events outside of school. This is her first year here in WISRD and she is artistic, good with money, and frugal in her spending, adding value and sensibility to our big dreams.

Maddie – Maddie Moore is the third 10th grader in the group, and brings gallons of energy as well as an open, expectant mind. She is also up to date with her personal posts, and participates in many eye-opening out of school WISRD events, such as the Fall Lecture Series and the Anaheim STEM Convention. She is a wonderful collaborator, adding value to the team with her high spirits and is not afraid to speak her mind.

Lela – Lela Scully is one of the two juniors in the Hydroponics Group and is a fiery and powerful decision maker. When she feels strongly, she is not afraid to argue her case and stand up for what she believes in. She co-wrote an article this semester about women in STEM, proving her interest in and passion for equaling the playing field for all female participants in science fields. Lela adds value by bringing her awareness of things outside of the institution and Wildwood, as well as her advice for having our project impact as many people as possible.

Nathaniel – Nathaniel Payne is the only senior in our group, bringing a wise and witty attitude towards the workplace environment. This is his first year in WISRD and he brings an excitement to know how things work, and is preparing, with Cesar, to test the Hydroponics system and equipment once it is built.

Nathaniel’s Update – 12/7/16

Recently I have been collecting and starting to sort information on growing specific plants. I have been trying to find information on both indoors and outdoor gardening, mainly for basil, to get a sense of the time it will take to grow, as well as specifics of the planting process.

Reid’s Update – 12/4/16

I know we are preparing to work on our project proposal this week, however we need to keep in mind our self assessments. When you have time try and work on. If you have any questions about it, refer back to Joe’s email or email me.

Reid’s Update – 12/3/16

Yesterday, Maddie and I saw Dylan (the head of the WISRD board) in the hallway and we had a chance to talk about the Project. He said that he would is going to get back to us soon about meeting for our presentation. This week in class we need to make a presentation with slides that will give them information about the project. Also, we need to look at the budget plan. I’m really excited that we know all of the materials, but we are going to have to see what we will buy and build. This should not take a lot of time. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Lela’s Update – 12/2/16

I realized we never included the image of our poster from the WISRD evening lecture series, which was 2 weeks ago.

Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 10.45.38 AM

Reid’s Update – 11/30/16

Today an email was sent out to the WISRD board members and everyone involved in the Hydroponic Project. This email was sent to notify the members that we are ready to present our project and hopefully get it approved to build! We will post on the page once we know their response.

Nathaniel and Cesar’s Update – 11/2/16

I did research on the filtration system of the setup and came to the conclusion that we will need a simple carbon filter to control debris and unwanted organisms that may affect our results. I have started drafting the content that will be included in our poster due on November 7th. I evaluated each of the possible experiments and chose one which will provide accurate results . We will test our hydroponic garden by comparing our growth results with an experiment that has already been done, if the results have a low percent error (0%-5%), then that’ll mean that our garden is ready to be used in more complex and original experiments.t

Cesar’s Update – 10/27/16

Below is some information that we have been working on for the lab.

Filtration System:

Reverse Osmosis vs Carbon Filter?

The carbon based filtration system costs about 70$ while the RO filtration system costs upwards of 300$. The RO system is unnecessary because it removes many minerals that plants have either adapted to resist them (Sulfates), or are beneficial (Nitrates.) We will need a filtration system mainly because of debris build up that can clog our drip system. Another option is manually removing all of the water, however, it will distort our data as the plants would be exposed to different amounts of the factors they are subjected to.

Possible Experiments:

  • Do plants grown hydroponically grow faster than those in soil?
  • How does oxygenation of the water affect hydroponically grown plants?
  • How does nutrient content affect plant growth?
  • How does the pH of the nutrient solution affect plant growth?
  • How does growth efficiency of hydroponics compare to growth efficiency of soil grown plants?

Plants to use for experimentation:




Flowers of all types

Reason – all of the plants listed not only grow quickly, but require little light comparative to a fruiting plant, such as tomatoes.

Growing Media:

Potting Soil



Paper Towel

Only Water

Independent Variables:

Growth Medias

Ph Level


Amount of each individual

Dependent Variables:


Growth Rate

Reid’s Update – 10/24/16

Today in WISRD we have created a plan for what we need to do. We have dates that we need to accomplish these tasks by, and people who need to do them. Please look below and see what you need to do. Thanks! If you have any questions email me.

Lela + Maddie:

Write their Article by Friday 10/28/16 and send it to Josie

Lucy + Reid:

Write their Article by Friday 10/28/16 and send it to Josie

Lucy + Lela + Nathaniel + Cesar + Reid:

Create 2 Posters by Monday 11/7/16 and send it to Joe


Do More Research and create a bibliography ASAP

Reid + Lucy:

Make a budget and plan. See the parts we have, what we need to get, and what we can build. ASAP

Nathaniel + Cesar:

Create their Lab ASAP



Research update – 10/17/16

Maddie Moore, Reid Broudy, Lucy Hofmann, Lela Scully

WISRD- Joe Wise and Loli Marshall


Pavel Lieb

Examples of hydroponic work:

In Tim’s room

GreenCoast Hydroponics and all of the stuff they have done

Greenhouses/ large

Hydroponics have been a part of human existence for centuries and centuries, dating all the way back to the Aztecs and the Pyramids. This idea stemmed (hah) from experiments involving what substances plants can grow from. Hydroponics is a classic, from Chinampas to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. This includes the floating Chinese gardens, and Ancient Egypt. However, people didn’t start writing down their hydroponic discoveries until 1600. After that, a fellow named John Woodward, a member of the Royal Society of England, which is super classy, performed experiments with hydroponics in 1699. He made all kinds of discoveries that we will explore next time, on Maddie’s Hydroponics Show!

Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk’s little brother, is currently working on groundbreaking hydroponics research in relation to the food crisis that is sweeping the nation. He is also looking for some people to work with him, we’re probably too young to apply?

More to come!

10/17/2016 – Update #5

Below are notes that we took from our meeting. Cesar and Nathaniel are working on a side project. This is a lab to test if our system is working properly. They will be posting more on this page soon. Maddie will continue to do more research. She will post her progress on this page with a bibliography soon. Lela and Lucy will be working on the poster that is due on November 7th. Lastly, Reid will be going through the budget plan and seeing what parts of the system can we buy, build, and already have. Check out the notes from our meeting found below.

STEM discussion with Cesar, Nathaniel, Reid, Joe –

6 people – is this too many people? Reid does not feel like it; plenty of jobs to go around

Time zones – missing people – regardless of missing people or time in the STEM room, still need to do more.

Reid; drip system, budget done, research done by Maddie – where is it? All folks involved should be reading the research – should be shared with all of us ASAP. Another hydroponics visit is not scheduled.

Purpose is to build a prototype lab that can be extended to a larger – bigger system that future students can use for experimenting – etc.

Cesar and Nathaniel can begin research on Jstore that allows research on experiments that have been done and how can it be extended or used –

Lab built: repeat an experiment that has been done to validate the results – and it will then solidify the lab as useful (calibrating and validating the lab)

Time frame needed – to include meeting with the board for budget/purchasing – Must be looking at the calendar of deadlines –

Build a poster to show what is being done –

skype/technology/emails/communication with missing parties needs to be solved – no excuse as to why we are still not showing research, for example. Joe suggests setting up a meeting outside of the class – — joe will check on this site – then get back to us. Follow the annotating done with Jstore (bibliography)

  1. Reid to schedule time with missing parties to further the research – Remember WISRD is not a class – so the work to be done is to be done in or out of class –
  2. Maddie is to share the research that has been typed up with the bibliography to all (it should be on the WISRD sustainability page) – Joe noticed not posted there
  3. Lela and Lucy – please get busy with the poster production – due Nov 7th – remember that the poster must be peer edited before printing
  4. Cesar and Nathaniel are to follow up with experiments already done with hydroponics using Jstore

10/5/16 – Update #4

Today, we started to go over our budget plan. We discussed more of the nit-picky details concerning the placement of the hydroponics site, and caught Lela and Maddie up on what Reid and Lucy discussed at the Green Coast Hydroponics meeting. IMG_7659IMG_7658IMG_7657IMG_7660

These are copies of the parts and pieces that we can buy from GreenCoast Hydroponics, and our whiteboard notes concerning what to buy from GreenCoast and what to outsource. We want to make sure that we are doing our project in the most cost efficient way. If you have any questions, please let us know!

10/3/16 – Update #3

We had our meeting at Green Coast Hydroponics!


Lucy and Reid are very happy after having their meeting. They received so much information about what they need to do to make the project a success. They learned about the different hydroponic systems. The one that they think they can do is a drip system. This is the best system to do under the stairs by the library. It will use the least amount of water and be the easiest to maintain. Best of all, we can do lots of different tests with this system. This week, our group needs to go back and do more research. We received a budget plan from the meeting, but it is very expensive. Is there any way we can make some of the parts instead of buying them? What do we already have? These will be good questions to ask ourselves throughout this week. For more information about the meeting and our project, make sure you visit our individual pages located at the top of the page. We are all looking forward to another great week in WISRD!

9/21/16 – Update #2 

WISRD Proposal for Green Coast Hydroponics Visit

On Friday 9/23, WISRD members Loli, Reid, Lucy, and Paula (chaperone) will plan to visit Green Coast Hydroponics in hope of promoting and expanding both WISRD and the sustainability project. We plan to talk with the representatives about the WISRD program. The goal of this meeting is to gain a full understanding of the next steps of the Sustainability project. We plan to ask the Hydroponics representatives about upkeep and year long (and longer) costs. Hopefully by talking to the Hydroponics people we will be able to set a plan of action and establish our next steps for the project.

  1. Introduction:

– What is STEM/WISRD?

– Our basket

  Intro to Sustainability Project

2. Our vision and project plan:

– Project should be able to be continued after this year (life long)

– We will set up hydroponics and garden and it will be continued by other WISRD students in future.

– Show pictures of area and ask for advice

– Explain that we plan on using the setup and garden for various experiments and labs throughout the year

– our ecosystems, chicks, water, gardening, curriculum implementation, etc

3. Budget:

– How should we set it up?

– What space?

-What should it look like?

– Maintenance and who will clean it?

– How do we maintain the area? (special skills?)

– School discount?

4. Thank you:

– Ask for contact info

9/15/16 – Update #1

Loli, Reid, and Lucy will be going to GreenCoast Hydroponics on September 23rd to have a consultation. They will be asking questions and gathering information. The next step in this project is to prepare for the meeting. Everyone needs to start brainstorming ideas and questions on the google doc.