AP Bio Students Travel to Chicago


Hydroponic gardens at Plant Chicago

Phasu Sirinit, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, 86 Wheaton Warrenville South AP Biology students took a field trip to visit the Plant Chicago and DIRTT Environmental Solutions to study advanced technology. 

This field trip proved essential as its purpose was to expand the student’s perception of the modern technology used to benefit the environment. 

Plant Chicago is a nonprofit organization that is working to make cities more efficient by developing innovative methods for sustainable food production. In the visit, students witnessed the process behind their methods of material reuse and cycling energy. Through controlled conditions and advanced engineering, Plant Chicago developed indoor farming, or hydroponic gardening, that cycles fish waste into feeding material for plants which can cycle back to the fish. Through the field trip, students were able to witness organizations working towards sustaining the planet we live in. 

DIRTT Environmental Solutions is a company that reinvented the idea of rebuilding. Generally, if an owner is not satisfied with the design of their building, the next step would be to destroy the product and throw the materials away. This process poses a huge issue as it wastes a surplus of materials. However, DIRTT found a unique solution inspired by Legos which develops reusable materials that can be easily added and removed to structures. Their unique solution is becoming a huge success and is inspiring young, bright students to pursue aiding the environment in creative ways.

One of the teachers, Gloria Latta, is proud of founding this field trip. Mrs. Latta explained, “[The field trip] is very important as it applies to everyday life and provides general background on taking care of the environment. The trip can inspire young students to pursue a career in this field but also may extend beyond the classroom and teach students how to become a good citizen.” 

What’s most important is the impact the trip had on South students. Student, Sarah Burau, joined the field trip and claimed that her favorite activity was using the virtual simulators at DIRTT. Burau described the activity: “You are transported into a room and are able to build a simulated interior of a building in order to have a clear picture of the design.” By having hands-on experience with these new inventions, Burau and others are motivated to help restore the planet into a healthy environment for the future.