Bethesda Academy and Georgia Southern University Partner for Agricultural Research
(SAVANNAH, GA) Students at Bethesda Academy, a residential and day school for boys in grades six through 12, are joining forces with chemistry students from Georgia Southern University – Armstrong Campus to try to answer questions on how gardening methods impact the nutritional value of produce.
The research will focus on determining the antioxidant levels in food grown by three different methods: conventional soil-based cultivation using conventional fertilizers and pesticides, organic cultivation using sustainable, non-toxic processes and aquaponics, growing plants in fish tanks with a water-based system.
Bethesda will offer the local organic testing ground and, in exchange, students will get the opportunity to engage with chemists in hands-on learning activities.
“The question of how growing method affects nutrient quality is currently one of the most hotly discussed and least studied topics in agricultural science,” said Marrin Slocombe, director of farm and garden at Bethesda. “The findings could have an enormous impact on informing consumer preferences and determining government policy.”
The Bethesda campus is home to five-acres of organic gardens, including a large greenhouse. The school uses the facilities, as well as a cattle herd and pasture land, to teach vocational agriculture. The school sells its produce at a farm stand open from 3-5 p.m. Thursdays.
“Bethesda is committed to using community resources to the greatest extent possible in preparing our students for the future,” said Michael Hughes, president of Bethesda Academy. “We relish this opportunity to have Bethesda’s young men work alongside scientists and students from a major research university.”
ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private boarding and day school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.