STEM and Sustainable Agriculture: Modeling an Interdisciplinary Approach in the High School Setting.

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2019: $3,954.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2021
Grant Recipient: School Town of Munster
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Manager:
Kelly Hladek
Munster High School


  • Fruits: berries (other), cherries, pears
  • Vegetables: beans, carrots, radishes (culinary), tomatoes


  • Crop Production: food processing, food processing facilities/community kitchens, greenhouses, irrigation, municipal wastes, water management, water storage, windbreaks
  • Education and Training: demonstration, mentoring, networking, technical assistance, workshop, youth education
  • Energy: energy use, renewable energy, solar energy, wind power
  • Farm Business Management: business planning, community-supported agriculture, farm-to-institution, value added
  • Pest Management: eradication, mulches - general
  • Production Systems: aquaponics, hydroponics
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: community services, employment opportunities, partnerships, quality of life

    Proposal abstract:

    Munster High School’s STEM team will educate students about sustainable agriculture by collaborating across-disciplines to create a 21st century garden and orchard.  A variety of classes such as art, botany, business, computer science, engineering, FACS, and math will collaborate to design, plant, automate, and harvest the garden while feeding our community and readying produce for the market.  Approximately 350 students will engage in curricula to support sustainable agriculture and outreach through the integrative lens of STEM.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Increase understanding of Sustainable Agriculture practices through hands-on work in the vegetable garden and orchard.
    2. Expose students to ways in which Sustainable Agriculture integrates with other STEM disciplines such as Computer Science, and Engineering.
    3. Provide business experiences and community service opportunities to students through the hosting of a community dinner and the sale of produce at the Munster Farmers market.
    4. Share project with educators, students, and the general public at professional conferences, in the local paper, as well as online with social media and a student produced website.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.