Page 44 - Fall2016
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FEATURES

  Construction of hydroponic
                       allows WJU

An out of the box idea has allowed   The students sought ways hy-           students understand the full per-
Wheeling Jesuit class to develop a   droponics could be used to help        spective of problems and then be
new way to grow food that benefits   reduce poverty and poor nutrition      able to make intelligent, well-in-
Catholic Charities West Virginia —   in Wheeling.                           formed decisions on how to find
a vertical hydroponics system.                                              solutions,” Railing explained.
                                         Eight students, along with Rail-
    Through a course — ‘Introduc-    ing, a professor of chemistry and          The students, Railing and Fr.
tion to Environmental Issues: a ho-  associate for research and advo-       Woods spent class time building
listic approach’ — Dr. Mary Railing  cacy with the Appalachian Institute    the initial hydroponic wall, which
and her class explore ecological     at WJU, and Rev. Michael Woods,        consists of shelving that is mo-
challenges from scientific, ethical  S.J., coordinator of sustainabili-     bile, growing trays, lights and a
and spiritual perspectives in order  ty programs for the Appalachian        watering system. The wall can be
for the students to think critical-  Institute, built a hydroponic ‘Living  moved throughout the Neighbor-
ly about human-environmental         Wall’ at the Center — a system that    hood Center to access natural and
sustainability.                      will produce vegetables and herbs,     artificial light. The first system is
                                     which will be used at the Center       built and producing food, while the
    The idea for a vertical hydro-   and distributed to others in need      second vertical wall will be con-
ponic system for Catholic Charities  of healthy food.                       structed in the near future.
Neighborhood Center grew out of
a discussion with students, who          “Through the class and the             “This project allows the stu-
engage in hydroponic research.       hydroponics systems, I want the        dents to use what they are learn-

42 Wheeling Jesuit University
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