RWU’s University College and Acopia Harvest International Launching Educational Programs in Hydroponics

Hydroponics, the art and science of growing plants in water, is an expanding industry and effective learning tool in STEMM areas

Plants growing in hydroponics system.
By Edward Fitzpatrick

PROVIDENCE, R.I. ­­– Acopia Harvest International and University College at Roger Williams University are partnering to create education and training programs in the hydroponics industry for students, military personnel, senior citizens, homemakers and career-chasers alike.

The objective is to provide opportunities for students of all kinds to receive an education that will enable them to join one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide. The programs will begin in summer 2019.

Hydroponics, the art and science of growing plants in water, is an effective learning tool that stimulates students of all ages by allowing them to engage in and explore all areas of STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and manufacturing). Students will develop transferable skills in many other related areas such as water management, plumbing, electricity, agriculture, nutrition, sustainability, marketing, business management and economics.

“Hydroponics is a burgeoning industry that allows for year-round plant growth,” said Jamie E. Scurry, RWU’s Vice President of University College. “It is emerging as an important part of the restaurant industry, providing local food on a year-round basis, and it is becoming a key strategy for growing food in parts of the world that have harsh environments and/or limited growing seasons. University College is pleased to partner with Acopia to provide the knowledge and training needed to pursue this promising method of cultivation.”

The benefits of a hydroponics-based education are numerous. Those who participate in this program will be empowered by effective teaching, cutting-edge technology and a flexible, visionary curriculum that provides students with a high-quality education that values every learner. Together, these tools will not only create a sense of purpose for students but will allow them to generate and support a sustainable lifestyle that influences their personal well-being, as well as that of our planet.

Acopia Harvest International, which has its offices in Central Falls, R.I., is part of a group of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs dedicated to the preservation and continuance of our planet. This is made possible through the vision and investment of Irving Backman, a champion of sustainable technologies, programs and projects for more than 45 years who has his office in Dedham, Mass.

For more information, contact Taino J. Palermo, Program Director for Community Development & Healthy Communities, University College at Roger Williams University, 1 Empire St., Providence, RI, Room 333. He can be reached at (401) 254-3296 or