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The Importance and

Science of Hydroponics

Presentation by:
Sherry Anne Pancho
KaMele Sanchez
What are hydroponic systems?
The name "hydroponics"
derives from the Greek words
"hydro," meaning "water," and
"pono," meaning "to work." The
literal meaning is roughly
translated to "working with
Hydroponics is the practice
of growing plants with their
roots suspended in water
containing mineral nutrients, or
simply, growing plants without
History of Hydroponics
600 BC Hydroponic principles used in the creation of the Hanging
Gardens of Babylon

900 & 1000 AD Floating Gardens of the Aztecs in Lake Tenochtitlan

Late 1200s Marco Polo records sightings of floating gardens in China

1620s Francis Bacon, British scientist, studies soil-less gardening.

Publication of his work sets of a wave of hydroponic

1699 John Woodward, British scientist, concludes plants grow

better in water with nutrients, opposed to distilled water.

1930s William Gericke, Berkeley scientist, demonstrates the

benefits of soil-less gardening. Credited for giving
hydroponics its name.

1938 Two other Berkeley scientists, Dennis Hoagland and Daniel

Arnon, publish "The Water Culture Method for Growing
Plants Without Soil," most important text regarding
hydroponics. Developed three nutrient solutions that are still
used today.
Main Parts of Hydroponic Systems
Hydroponic systems are made of 7 main parts; the growing
chamber, reservoir, delivery system, submersible pump,
lighting, simple timer, and air pump.

Growing Chamber
Holds the root system. It can be
made from many different
materials and can be designed
in various ways.

Holds the nutrient solution
that feeds the plants.
More Parts to a Hydroponic System
Submersible Pump Lighting
Waters the plants Delivery System Helps plants to
Gets water/nutrients from the photosynthesize.
pump in the reservoir to the plants, Lighting systems can
and back to the reservoir again. be used, or regular
Air Pump
Simple Timer Along with the air stone,
Used to turn the pump (and helps to oxygenate the
light systems) on and off. If nutrient solution. It is not
you are using light systems, needed, but is highly
two timers are needed. recommended because it
helps give the root system

the oxygen it needs since

water moves continuously.
The pump cuts down on
algae growth and keeps
nutrients fresher.
A controlled and stable Some diseases may be able to
growing environment for the spread quicker, with the water
plants. flow.
Water and nutrients can be The system may require a
reused, with low cost. decent amount of care to be
Convenient, mobile, and does maintained and kept up to par.
not use farmland
May have a high starting or
Easier to control pests and maintaining cost, depending
weeds. on how it is made.
No tilling, minimal weeding, Some plants may require
no hand watering, and easier specialized systems.
to harvest.
The plants may be
Reduces runoff and soil susceptible, a malfunction of
erosion caused by regular soil the pumps, can force a chain
farming. reaction and cause all of the
plants to die.
Typ e s
er e n t
eDi ff
Th Nutrient Film
Technique System
Ebb and Flow ~ Nutrient water travels
from its reservoir to the
~ Using a submerged pump with a growing tray to cover the
timer, water will temporarily flood plants roots, then back
the plant's medium, then be into the reservoir to be
collected and the leftover used again.
nutrient solution will be recycled.

Wick System
~ The simplest of
them all, the
solution is released
through a wick
located under the
water to the plants.
M o r e
p e s
y Culture
~ Fish, located in a barrel,
~ An air pump fuels an air produce waste water that is
stone with air, and the stone pumped up to fertilize and water
releases nutrients to the the plants. The water filters
pants that are floating above through the plants and returns to
on a styrofoam platform. the fish.

Aeroponic Growing
~ Plants are hung, with
roots dangling, and are
sprayed with nutrients
every few minutes.
So what is the point?
On our island, many of our public
schools have a school garden that their
students work in. This gives the
students an opportunity to experience
the outdoors and sustainability.
Introducing these students to
hydroponics could open doors to a new
career that one of them may be
interested in. It would also give them
new opportunities and experiences for
them to use in the future.
It also provides a different option for
students that do not like the get "down
and dirty." Most students have classes
after they work and do not want to go
back dirty. Or they just may not be
"outdoorsy." They would still be able
work, but will not feel out of place.
Our plan of

The Goal: To educate the public, mainly local school

gardens, on the usefulness and efficiency that is hydro-
Our steps:
1) Create small, sample devices of several of the types of
hydroponic systems.

2) Give presentations to other schools, or a public audience on

the way hydroponics works and its benefits.

3) Harvest the plants that we grow, then give and/or sell to the