How can we grow in new directions? Explore ways to reduce our impact on the environment by thinking about farming in a new direction...up!

About This Video

Grade level: 6-10
Length: 2 minutes
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:​ MS-ESS3.A, MS-ESS3.C, MS-ETS1.A

In this video, we'll explore an UP-and-coming innovation in agriculture: vertical farming. Below are discussion questions you can use in the classroom in conjunction with this video to engage your students with this innovative technology.

Video Discussion Questions

  1. How much of Earth's land is currently used for growing food?  How is this impacting the environment?
  2. What do you think will have to happen to the amount of land we dedicate to growing food as our population increases?
  3. What is vertical farming?  Why is it a potentially good option for cities?
  4. What are some of the benefits of vertical farming?  
  5. What are some of the drawbacks or challenges?

Science Texts for Students

Use this resource to ground your understanding before integrating this video into your lesson. Alternatively, allow your students to practice close reading of scientific texts by passing out the article and the empty version of the chart—let them do the work!

Because the issues we're exploring in Flipside Science are complex, we've evaluated how the solution fares across three important dimensions: the environment, the economy, and society.

Accompanying Activity: Sustainable Food Solutions

Weighing the pros and cons

Weighing the Pros and Cons
How do we assess the benefits and drawbacks of various solutions to a problem? To decide how one potential solution compares to another, we have to consider the pros and cons of each from many dimensions, including environmental, social, cultural, and economic. In this activity, students will work together to map out the strengths and limitations of potential solutions to some important global food system issues.

Connections to the Next Generation Science Standards

While this video doesn't necessarily cover the following standards in depth, it is a compelling resource you can use to supplement your curriculum that does.

Disciplinary Core Ideas (Grades 6-8):

  • MS-ESS3.A: Natural Resources
  • MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • MS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

Crosscutting Concepts (Grades 6-8):

  • Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World

Our Hungry Planet: About This Unit

To feed our growing world, we need innovative solutions. In this unit, we'll explore environmental issues related to the food we grow and eat. We'll review topics from food waste to urban farming, and learn how simple choices we make impact our planet. This unit introduces students to the process of design thinking, and culminates in a design thinking challenge related to food systems issues.


Bay Area Urban Farms, Science Today
In this article, you'll learn more about some of the local farms featured in this video!

Vertical Pinkhouses
This KQED post explores how pinkhouses, plant factories with glowing LED lights, might be the future of urban farming.

Green Pie in the Sky
Featuring some excellent graphics and a brief podcast, this NPR article describe a vertical farm in New Jersey.

Share This