Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom Indoor Gardening Curriculum

In the spring of 2017, AK AITC was awarded a grant from the National Agriculture in the Classroom organization to develop this resource. This work is supported in part by the Agriculture in the Classroom Grant no. 2017-38858 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Development was also supported by a grant from the Alaska Farm Bureau and an EPA grant in collaboration with the University of Alaska.


This curriculum is a compilation of lessons developed by the Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom program, the National Agriculture in the Classroom (NAITC) organization, and educators throughout Alaska who have reviewed and piloted many of these activities. 


Please be patient with us. This is a work in progress, some links are currently in development and will be available soon. If you do use the lessons and find things that need changing or clarification, please feel free to give us feedback and help in making them the best possible resource for Alaska teachers and students. If you have a lesson you have developed and would like to be included in our list, please feel free to share it with us and we will consider adding it. 



If you have time and would like to evaluate the curriculum lessons to help us improve them, please fill out this evaluation form and send it back to Mel. Download the form HERE

Email Mel Sikes at with any suggestions or comments.


Presentation to NAITC Virtual Conference on 6/24/2020

As part of the NAITCO National Conference which was presented virtually, Mel Sikes gave a powerpoint presentation about this project. You can watch that presentation here:

Hydroponics in Classrooms: Inexpensive Projects and Curriculum for Indoor Gardening


To watch the other presentations, visit this NAITCO Conference Presentations YouTube page to explore the 12 excellent presentations given during the two day conference.


Small Hydroponic Tower Construction Video Collaboration with Silent Springs FFA Chapter 

In September 2020, the students in the Silent Springs FFA chapter collaborated with AKAITC on a video to instruct folks on how to build the modified smaller grow tower.

Click on this LINK to watch the YouTube video


Educator Workshop: 

If you are wanting to set up a workshop for educators using this curriculum, here are some tools to help you with this process:

Sample 2.25 day workshop schedule

Sample 1 day workshop schedule

Suggestions for organizing a workshop

Sample workshop poster

Sample pre-course assignment


Standards Correlation

Standards correlation chart for all the lessons in the curriculum. PDF 

Standards correlation chart for all the lessons in the curriculum. Word

Chart of AK Science and NGSS Standards Definitions and Corresponding Disciplinary Core ideas. PDF

Chart of AK Science and NGSS Standards Definitions and Corresponding Disciplinary Core ideas Word 


Introduction to Curriculum - Why Grow Indoors? 

Introduction to Curriculum

Introductory Presentation - Powerpoint


Soil Growing Systems

Reading a Seed Packet Lesson

    - Station Activity Instructions

Starting Plants in the Classroom

    - Station Activity Instructions

Salad Container Greenhouse Lesson

    - Station Activity Instructions

NAITC Desktop Greenhouses

Indoor Gardening Lighting Systems Handout

Window Sill Garden Fact Sheet


    - Station Activity Instructions

Name in Seeds

Transplanting Lesson


Soil and Nutrients

Biologic Fertilizer Lesson

        - One Page Biologic Fertilizer Instructions

Garden Soil Exploration Lesson

        - Soil Texture PPT

NAITC The Right Diet for Your Plants Lesson

NAITC Plant Nutrition Deficiencies Lesson

    - Soil Sciences Reader

    - Alfalfa Deficiencies Handout

    - Humanity Against Hunger Handout


Plant Growth and Plant Processes

Do You Know the Parts of Plants? Lesson

Plant Parts - Roots Lesson

    - Station Activity Instructions

    - Root Anatomy and Function PPT

Plant Parts - Stems Lesson

    - Station Activity Instructions

Plant Parts - Leaves Lesson

    - Station Activity Instructions

    - Leaf Structure PPT

Harvesting Plants: Leaves

Plant Parts - Flower Lesson

     - Station Activity Instructions

     - Flower Anatomy and Pollinator PPT

Plant Parts - Seeds Lesson

     - Station Activity Instructions

Hydroponic Plant Growth Lesson

Pollination in Hydroponics Web Article


Hydroponic Growing Systems

Introduction to Hydroponic Systems Lesson

Hydroponics PPT

Passive Hydroponics Lesson

    - Station Activity Instructions

Micro Muncher 1 Square Foot System Lesson

Hydroponic Growing Mediums Lesson

Setting up the Floating Platform Hydroponic System Lesson

     - Just Directions

     - Video on setting up the Floating Hydroponic System

Setting up the Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) Hydroponic System Lesson

NAITC What, No Soil? Lesson

Chena Hot Springs Grow Tower System Lesson

     - Just Directions 

Small Grow Tower System Construction Lesson

     - Just Directions

     - Video Instructions for building the tower (thanks to Silent Springs FFA Chapter)

     - Video on how to start plants and install them in the grow tower.

     - Care Instructions for Tower

Using the Small Grow Tower Lesson

UAA Classroom Indoor Garden Teaching Module

NAITC Test Tube Hydroponics Lesson

NAITC Aeroponic Engineering and Vertical Farming


Aquaponic Growing Systems

Setting up the Aquaponics System Lesson

Aquaponics Fish Care

NAITC Exploring Aquaponics Lesson (grades K-2)

NAITC Exploring Aquaponics Lesson (grades 3-5)


Composting and Food Waste

NAITC The Rotten Truth Lesson

Composting Worms Lesson 

     - Station Activity Instructions

Worm Booklet - set up to print double sidedand cut to make booklet


Marketing and Business

Hydroponics Marketing Lesson



Gardening Books 

Alaska High Tunnel Website

NRCS High Tunnel Fact Sheet

List of Relevant Websites

List of Potential Grants

List of Gardening Resource Agencies and Contacts in Alaska