P15419: Rochester Roots Experimental Horticulture Lab

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Rochester Roots, with the help of the Montessori Academy School #53, is striving to expose, teach, develop, and inspire students and their families to learn about plants, natural resources, and the effects of the environment on plants. The school is working on adding a lab experiment into their curriculum for the students to conduct.

The goals of this project are to design, develop, and create a prototype of a portable lab experiment and procedure to expose and teach the students about plants and the effects of the environment on the plants. The students will learn the Scientific Method and will be able to observe, control, measure, and collect data from the lab experiment.

Problem Definition Documents

Project Summary

Rochester Roots is a non-profit program with a focus on increasing the sustainability and fairness of the food system. The primary goal of the Rochester Roots program is teaching how people, technology and plants interact by creating city schoolyard gardens that allow students to come together and learn about agriculture.

Rochester Roots has been given a classroom at the Montessori Academy School #53. One of the many things they wish to do with the room is to start seeds in the late winter and early spring for later planting outdoors in the garden. This seed starter lab is also intended to provide the students at the Montessori Academy School #53 with hands on experience, allowing them to see and interact with the growing process on a daily basis. The idea of the lab is that through experimentation, the students will be able to see how plants react to different environmental conditions and find out which conditions are best for each of the plants. Incorporation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) learning into the lab module also assists teachers when trying to teach the students the new Common Core curriculum. The goal of this project is to create a small indoor seed starting lab that can be controlled and monitored by a team of 3rd-6th grade students. Each team will experiment with specific growing conditions for light, water, soil & temperature. Students will record data for the growth of their plant as well as their conditions and compare these results to other teams’.

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements

House of Quality


Solution Parking Lot

During the Problem Definition phase, you will start coming up with possible solutions. Rather than act on those now, put them in the Solution Parking Lot, and come back to them after your team has fully defined the problem.

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