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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a greenhouse science classroom?
A greenhouse science classroom offers children opportunities for hands-on learning and exploration, and will be built around a 21st-century urban farm that focuses students on issues of global concern: climate change, efficient use of water and energy, building greener cities and growing a secure and healthy food supply.

How will students and the community benefit from the PS 199 greenhouse classroom?
By providing learning experiences in the greenhouse science classroom, PS 199 will encourage students in kindergarten through 5th grade to embrace science while making educated choices about their impact on the environment. The facility will:
· Provide students with a first-hand understanding of pressing environmental problems and the tools to find creative solutions to them.
· Enable student to learn the global context of sustainability and see first- hand the connection between food production, nutrition, and healthy eating initiatives.
· Expose students to on-site urban agriculture and plant science while offering students a connection to the broader fields of Agricultural Science, Plant Biology, Horticultural and Crop sciences as well as specific research programs in Plant Pathology and Microbiology.
· Provide harvested food that will be shared and used both by the PS 199 school cafeteria and a local institution that serves those in need.

How much will it cost to develop the greenhouse science classroom?
The capital campaign to support this project is in its initial phase, and is expected to raise about one million dollars to cover the development of the greenhouse and the capacity to operate it. The campaign will rely on a hybrid of both public and private funding, and individuals are invited to make financial contributions to the PS 199 Science Center right here.

How will decisions about design and development be made?
PS 199 is working with trusted partners on this project:

NY Sun Works is a New York State 501(c)3 organization that builds innovative science labs in urban schools. The Greenhouse Project initiative uses hydroponic farming technology to educate students and teachers about the science of sustainability. NY Sun Works’ inaugural project is The Science Barge, a prototype, sustainable urban farm and environmental education center hosted on the Hudson River. It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York City. They also played a key role in the development of the greenhouse classroom at the Manhattan School for Children (PS 333).

Kiss+Cathcart is an active and versatile architectural practice that has completed a wide range of project types while maintaining high standards of design, economy, and ecological soundness. As an integral part of design research, Kiss+Cathcart explores the potential of privileged and confidential sustainable materials and technologies to satisfy the perennial needs of function, value, and comfort. Kiss+Cathcart is recognized as a world leader in combining solar, or photovoltaic (PV), technology and architectural design.

When is the greenhouse science classroom expected to be complete?
Our goal is to complete the facility by the beginning of the 2016 school year.

What will the greenhouse science classroom consist of?
The greenhouse science classroom will be outfitted with the following state-of-the-art elements:
· Touchscreen display of energy and weather systems
· Solar panels for building integrated photovoltaic cells
· Rainwater capture system
· Evaporative cooling system
· Nutrient film technique system
· Vine crop system
· Aquaponics system
· Compost station
· Integrative pest management

Why should you care about and support this project?
· The PS 199 greenhouse classroom will provide PS 199 kindergarten through 5th graders a hands-on learning experience that incorporates issues of sustainability and global concern, thus preparing students to be responsible environmental stewards of the community and world.
· From a wellness perspective, the greenhouse allows younger children to learn about healthier lifestyles and make educated choices about what they eat and how they interact with their environment, therefore directly impacting the obesity epidemic that is prevalent in the United States.
· The elementary-aged students of today will be our next generation of scientists, engineers, and astronauts. Exposure to the sciences at a young age is a critical step to continuing to engage them in science learning and exploration as they mature. In fact, there are no manned space flights planned by any global aerospace agencies, so future space flights and exploration will likely be with this generation.

How can people help?
Financial contributions for the PS 199 greenhouse classroom can be made right here.