Integrating urban farming projects into schools with an intuitive and easy-to-use digital platform

Vireo’s mission is to reconnect people with nature by making urban agriculture accessible to everyone. The company offers indoor hydroponic garden projects in school environments. Such projects create a stimulating and motivating environment in which students grow their food and learn hands-on throughout the year. That is why Vireo supports school teams that want to integrate urban farming into their daily lives, with the aim of providing an unforgettable and inspiring experience for all participants.

User-friendly indoor gardens can replace or complement outdoor gardens. With no soil and producing crops in summer and winter, the garden offers different environments the opportunity to observe different complete growth cycles. You don’t have to have a green thumb to take care of it! The students can perform the manipulations independently and like to work in a team during the interview. They are amazed to see the plants grow and are more than proud to share their harvest with their families and the community!

The literature on this subject, as well as Vireo’s direct experience with schools, has shown that the main obstacles to the implementation of a project in a school are the difficulties associated with the organization and management of the project, here (reference). We also know that the simple fact of having a garden is not enough to reap all the benefits (positive effects on attitudes towards food, improved school performance [référence]positive effect on well-being through biophilia [référence]† It should be used for educational and awareness purposes, engaging students and creating a sense of community and belonging within the school (reference). That is why Vireo provides schools with the tools and support needed to realize the full potential of the project, to ensure its success and sustainability, so that students can take maximum advantage of it.

“We want to help as many schools as possible to reap the benefits of urban farming to promote the development of their students. The creation of an application that facilitates the coordination and management of the project for the participants allows to maximize the learning process and have a greater impact on young people and the community. †

Alexandre Chamberland, Founding President of Vireo

From there, the idea arose to use the power of technology to support the project. Vireo got to know Affordance Studio through the Edteq Association. Affordance is a company that specializes in creating learning games and gamification solutions. There was immediately a great synergy between the two teams who share the same values ​​and practices focused on collaborative development in agile mode.

The expertise of each has come together to create a unique digital tool that meets the needs of schools. The Affordance team has even integrated a vegetable garden into its Montreal offices, and the entire team grows peppers there to make hot sauce!

“Working with Vireo on the digital vegetable garden experience is both rewarding and exciting. It is a real pleasure to see the positive impact of this project on the users, especially in the school context. The application and the hydroponic vegetable garden are great tools to train the eco-citizens of tomorrow. I can’t wait to see how far this great partnership between Affordance and Vireo will go. †

Florence Girard-Laperrière, UI/UX Designer at Affordance

“We work closely together. During development meetings, there is no separation between Vireo employees and those of Affordance, we are one and the same team working towards a common goal, which is to provide an exceptional experience for students and teachers. are through a motivational project! †

Gabrielle Poirier, director of techno-pedagogical content at Vireo

In the fall of 2021, Affordance’s expertise in digital solutions for schools enabled the launch of a digital platform that maximizes the impact of educational projects. This intuitive tool encourages student autonomy and makes project management easier for the entire school! Vireo is very proud of this partnership, which ensures the success of school projects and supports teachers by making their lives as easy as possible!

“The Vireo application allows my students to be independent, they can search for information themselves and find answers to their questions. They develop their critical sense and scientific methodology. They have become true experts in hydroponics! The project is stimulating and motivating, both for me and for the students. For me it is very reassuring to have access to step-by-step instructions and all documentation at my fingertips, I feel supported in the project! †

Isabelle Charest, grade 6 teacher at the school of Samuel-de-Champlain

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