Growing Green in LIC
Constantinides joins P.S. 17 students to unveil
new hydroponics lab
www.qns.com I LIC COURIER I JANUARY 2020 23
BY MAX PARROTT
Councilman Costa Constantinides joined
with students, faculty and staff of P.S. 17
Henry David Thoreau in Long Island City to
give the school’s new hydroponic science
lab a spin on Wednesday, Dec. 18.
“Hydroponic labs offer unparalleled hands-on
lessons that open students up to the world of science,”
said Constantinides. “I cannot wait until every school
in our Council District has an operational facility by
For Constantinides, a borough president candidate
who sees climate change as an “existential threat,”
STEM and hydroponic labs represent a way to expose
students to careers that can confront the threat of
“Climate change will present our children with
unthinkable challenges, which find their way into
every single industry,” he said when he unveiled his
education platform for borough president.
Grave climate threats aside, the school’s
greenhouse classroom promises to be fun. It will
engage kids by allowing them to grow fruits, vegetables
and herbs using cutting-edge technology.
Within just the last few years, the councilman
said that he has been able to secure funds for a
new hydroponic science or STEM lab at all schools
in his Council District. P.S. 17 is the fifth school
to open a lab within the last two years. He funded
construction of the $160,000 science lab through
the 2019 budget.
New York Sun Works, a non-profit organization
that builds science labs, partnered with the councilman
and Department of Education to teach educators
about lab programming to ensure they get the most
out of these facilities.
“The NY Sun Works Hydroponics Labs will provide
students with the opportunity to grow food while
learning hands-on about science and climate education,
as well as food justice and community service,” said
Manuela Zamora, its executive director.
Councilman Costa Constantinides’ office