Eric Lauver, Assistant Principal
Combining Agriculture, Technology, Careers, and Community Service
HundrED shortlisted this innovation
Authenticity Meets Community
Washington, PA, 30 miles south of Downtown Pittsburgh, is home to a diverse economy, ranging from bedroom suburbs to manufacturing, industry, and agriculture.
Trinity High School's Freight Farm is housed in a shipping container on campus, and it houses the equivalent of an acre of farm land, while using minimal resources of power and water.
The fully automated Freight Farm is supervised by Mrs. Jeannette Hartley, a Trinity Agriculture and Gifted Specialist, who has a unique background as a teacher and a farmer with a biology degree. Students in the Greenhouse Production Management course help to plant, maintain, and harvest the crops. Additionally, students from Advanced Placement courses such as AP Chemistry assist with the mixing of chemicals to foster optimal growing conditions.
The Freight Farm grows between 800-1,200 heads of lettuce per week. 800 of these heads are donated to the Greater Washington County Food Bank to benefit needy families within our region.
The Freight Farm has been the catalyst for business and industry partnerships, where students create advertisements and other promotional documents that are used by the Food Bank and other local business partners in their businesses. Additionally, students are actively involved as the producers of food, and they are actively involved in the production of advertisement/promotional materials that are used by our local business partners. All of these artifacts give our students the ability to use 21st Century Skills, such as collaboration and communication, as well as having items to add to a portfolio that students can use in job or collegiate applications.