Digital Agriculture in Metro Vancouver

Applications are now open for high school students in grade 8 -12, to be chosen to participate in the Digital Agriculture in Metro Vancouver pilot program by Open Science Network Society. Interest in technology and/or agriculture preferred.

This program will introduce a select group of students to IoT, lysimeter, and the ability to send data from growing plants to the cloud, including hands on experience working with Arduino devices and microscopy.

A Wely Device - Internet of Things (IoT) Lysimeter - located at the UBC greenhouse.

Each session will be 2 hours long from 2-4pm and held on the following four consecutive Saturdays:

  • Starts February 26th, 
  • March 5th, 12th and 19th.

This program will be lead by Dr Scott Pownall, President of Open Science Network Society and James Douglas, Software Engineer/ Scientist at Phytochem Consulting.

For more info please contact us.

Applications close February 20, 11:59pm.

  • Hands on activities
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Internet of Things
  • Lysimeter
  • Arduino
  • Agriculture/Plant growth – students will pot their own plant to take home.
  • Foldscope – students will assemble and keep their foldscope.

It’s free!

The Program

CLASS 1 Introduction | February 26th
Activity: Tour of MakerLabs.
Present: Introduction to Digital Agriculture. What is it and why is it important?
What is a Wely? Intro to Wely device. Disassemble a Wely using a cordless drill(s). Talk about the parts and IoT. Show some old versions. What data is collected in the cloud?
Activity: Working with the Wely.
Plant a tray of lettuce and monitor it with a Wely device.
Set up/test Wely device with a lamp in the OSN space.
Check lighting with a PAR meter.
Activity: Plant some 4 inch pots with lettuce for students to take home. Talk about lighting and environment choice at home.
CLASS 2 – Microscopy/Foldscope | March 5th
Activity: Foldscope assembly and compare with conventional microscopes.
Take a look at some leaves and try to see the stomata.
See if we can arrange a closed stomata by inducing water stress with the Wely. Then water the plants and see if the stomata opens.
Discuss: are people’s lettuce growing? Lighting, temperature? Share photos of their home growth setup?
CLASS 3 Agriculture in Metro Vancouver | March 12th
Present: Where does our food come from? (1 hr)
Look together at a map of Agriculture Reserve Land.
Talk about buying local
Have you heard of that idea before?
What are some pros and cons of “buying local”?
What do you think about Greta Thunberg
Does everyone know what methane is? Climate change work in Metro Van involves digital agriculture tools: Greenhouse gas blueberry experiment at UBC.
Activity: Exploring the Arduino. Basic example is the LED blink (1 hr). If we don’t finish, ask students to bring their computers again next week.
CLASS 4 Food Security and Wrap Up | March 19th
Present: Discussions on what food security means and the importance of local agriculture and how digital agriculture can support sustainable farming.
Activity: Flex session where students can explore.
Do we want to keep going with the Arduinos turning on the light if we didn’t finish?
Or move on to coding?
One more choice based on student interest so far (look at Wely data?)

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash