One Plant Per Class is a global initiative of students empowering students to green the classroom.
We use technology as a platform to enable students to share directly with other students, building student leaders and communities. For every plant students setup, partners will provide a plant to someone in a developing country, having a local and global impact. Providing a plant such as a tomato plant in a developing country can mean extra income to feed a family and purchase other essentials needed to live.
With energy efficient buildings, indoor air is 5-10X more polluted than outdoor air. Fortune 500 companies have seen double digit productivity increases by adding plants to office environments. Academic studies in Norway to Taiwan to Texas have quantified the immersive psychological and environmental benefits of indoor plants. Plants are essential to humanity’s survival and existence and we believe they are essential to the classroom as well.
One of the greatest benefits is getting students, teachers, parents and the entire community are involved building student leadership. By working towards a common goal everyone can benefit, we can realize that taking care of a plant isn’t difficult. Even if students don’t yet have a green thumb, they become involved educating themselves and the world.
When students are put in charge, they come up with innovative solutions and findings which we share with the global community of schools using technology. Through our collaborative tools and utilization of social media, students can easily audit their classrooms to share what is growing and what isn’t and learn directly from other students. Students are disconnected from the environment and we want to create the simple and achievable goal of One Plant Per Class.
After working closely with 3 schools through a pilot project to get feedback, we now have 8 schools in the TDSB and TCDSB. We focused on the user experience and not done any marketing. All of the schools have approached us or been referred to us by a City of Toronto counciller.
We would like to create an iPhone app to enable students to "check in" and report on the plant's progress. With this we will then have a database of all the plants. The students are given points and the top school is awarded, but all schools see the local and global impact. Through the data we're collecting, we are also doing a large scale crowd sourced study on the best conditions for growing plants.
Greening the world, one class at a time.
King George PS first decided to take up the challenge of completing the initiative with a budget of $0.00 With a couple plants teachers already had, students made clippings, used old yogurt containers and other things lying around to propagate plants.
The presence of iPhones in the classroom. Smartphone adoption is rapidly increasing and certain schools and the board have expressed interest in providing the devices to schools who cannot afford them, so we do not see this as a long term issue.
We consider this FourSquare + Instagram for plants. Social sharing is very key to the success, with more traffic on OnePlantPerClass.org from Facebook than Google.
After collecting data from thousands of people "checking in," we plan to create a guide to selecting the best plant. Depending on your GPS location, how many days you can commit to watering and other factors, we choose the best plant for you.
This can also be used for farmers in developing countries to maximize crop yields but also for the average person who doesn't have a green thumb and is looking for plant.
We would then show gardening stores near them. Companies would pay for their placement, funding the app.