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BioConnect Greenhouse Project, by Daniela Lihn

Last year, Mr Raphael Melgarejo, Andrés Chechilnitzky and I (Daniela Lihn) started brainstorming ideas about how we would approach the challenge of building a greenhouse at School. What it would look like, what it would be made out of, how would we build it, and what would we plant inside were all questions we had to answer. After lots of planning and investigating, we finally made a plan and got the approval from the School to start building.

This was, and has been, a long process of trial and error. With my previous experience with building being close to non-existent, I had a lot to learn. Thankfully, we learned a lot from Mr Rapha and the people from carpintería, who had lots of patience with us when we asked them for advice or help regarding the greenhouse. 

My favourite part of this whole process has been to be able to repurpose old materials that were not being used by the School to make parts of the greenhouse. As you can see, the clear walls that are lining the greenhouse are made from the old transparent acrylic separators that we used in the lunch hall during the pandemic. We also repurposed some old wood to build the boxes on the ground and used an old plastic pallet to be able to stand on the inside without touching the ground directly in case water got inside. 

Even though we have not finished building, I am sure that the greenhouse will be a great addition to the School. When the crops start growing, the greenhouse could be used by younger kids to learn how to take care of plants and to motivate them to start growing them at home, as well as to provide hands-on learning opportunities about sustainability and environmental science or potentially, even to supply fresh produce for the school’s meals. 

Taking care of the greenhouse will also require teamwork and lots of responsibility, which is why it is such a beneficial project.

I would encourage other pupils to embark on other projects such as this one because of the essential values and skills you learn along the way, and the gratification of having done something good for your community.