HAST Collaborates with NIPSCO to Build a School Greenhouse

HAST Collaborates with NIPSCO to Build a School Greenhouse

Hammond Academy of Science and Technology (HAST), an urban charter school in Hammond, Indiana, was recently awarded a $15,000 grant from NIPSCO to build a hands-on, smart-technology powered greenhouse for their students and Horticulture Club members.  “Our community is excited about the new educational opportunities available to students and their families,” said Sean Egan, school leader of HAST.

NIPSCO is always looking for ways to support STEM educational opportunities within our service territory, said Rick Calinski, NIPSCO Public Affairs Manager.  “It was great to see the plan and the excitement of the students.  I look forward to coming back to the school and seeing the completed project.  NIPSCO is proud of this partnership with HAST.”

The HAST Horticulture club was started in the Fall of 2017 and has since grown to include over 30 students.  The Horticulture Club began with a few students asking if they could grow food on campus.  This effort, supported by science teacher Steve Grimm, has grown to multiple raised garden beds, on-going lessons in horticultural practices, and, most recently, the addition of healthy, nutrition-oriented cooking lessons.  “A greenhouse will allow for year-round projects and accessibility to unique plants that aren’t typically available in the Midwest,” Grimm adds.  HAST serves an urban population from the surrounding area.  This project will connect more urban communities to where their food comes from, and how it can be grown and prepared sustainably.  Additionally, HAST students will use the smart technology in the greenhouse to learn about programming and electrical engineering.

The Hammond Academy of Science and Technology was established in 2010 to provide the highest quality level of education to students by implementing state of the art technology and research-based instruction in an environment that is conducive to learning.