Lairon College Preparatory Academy – Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

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Lairon is part of a coalition of first adopter Title 1 schools that will participate in the Build 25 X 25 Initiative. This is particularly relevant for schools in food deserts with immigrant parents, many of whom work two jobs.

Lairon’s community partners and leaders in support of the ROA STEM Project include:

• Marisol Barahona Program Manager
• Family Resource Center Initiative
• Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
• Franklin McKinley Children’s Initiative
• Students from Andrew P Hill High School, San Jose
• Students from Valley Christian High School
• Parents of ESL Classes
• Lairon College Preparatory Academy Teachers


The following are CNGF’s partners who can be engaged to lend support in the Lairon School Training and research farm:

• Engineering Students Participating in the EPICS Program, SJSU
• Dr. Jinny Rhee, Professor and Assoc Dean of Engineering, SJSU
• Engineers Without Borders/SJSU Chapter
• Food and Nutrition Department, SJSU 
• Religion and Ethics, SJSU
• Diocese of San Jose 
• Paul Miner, Director of Social Justice Ministries
• Allan Morales, Director, Frugal Innovation Hub
• School of Engineering, Santa Clara University
 • Environmental Studies Interns, UCSC

CNGF is working with many community groups to implement Build 25 X 25 and to write grants with community partners, as well as to seek corporate sponsorships.


Students, teachers and parents can choose from this list of STEM components, focusing on specific projects that will inspire and motivate teamwork, completion and measured results:

40 Technical Components of ROA Training Farms

1.   Designed and constructed on 1-10 acres in urban environments
2.   Tatura trellis systems for fruit and nut trees
3.   Dwarf and genetic dwarf mixed fruit and nut orchard selected according to soils and climate
4.   Native wildflower seeds that were eaten by indigenous people planted with grassland understory for mixed fruit and nut orchard
5.   Restored local valley and foothill grasslands as hedgerows with maximum historical biodiversity
6.   Insectary plants like native milkweed, buckwheat, phacelia and native sunflower planted in food rows
7.   Composting and vermicomposting production ongoing; the only thing that leaves the farm is food
8.   Polyculture planting
9.   No-till methods
10.   Heirloom seed saving
11.    Drip irrigation and subterranean connected to stormwater reserves
12.   Native edibles
13.   Perennial edibles
14.   Drought-tolerant food plants
15.   Nitrogen fixing food plants
16.   Superfoods
17.   Comfort foods
18.   Companion planting in wide rows at least 4’
19.   Greenhouse and propagating facility to sustain constant planting and harvesting, automated systems if possible
20.   Aquaponics farm utilizing stormwater capture, effluent goes to biogas system
21.    Stormwater capture systems, including filters, storage and pumping
22.   Storage shed all sustainable construction, stormwater capture
23.   Biogas system 
24.   Chicken and rabbit hutch, possibly pigmy goats production for biodynamic farming
25.   Nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs are planted in hedgerows and adjacent to farm
26.   Outdoor kitchen and CSA prep area, walk-in refrigeration, storage
27.   Covered gathering and teaching area attached to stormwater capture and dispersal 
28.   Habitat garden for educational purposes
29.   Riparian habitat and grassland hedgerows
30.   Solar and/or wind power, geothermal
31.    Research lab with WiFi
32.   Well onsite
33.   Greywater system connected to subterranean irrigation
34.   Storage tanks for stormwater
35.   Educational signage. 
36.   Biofuel system integrated with water, waste and food systems
37.   No chemical pest control or phosphate fertilizers are used
38.   All soils are covered with mulch, farm waste or other carbon source at all times
39.   Beds are never left fallow but are continually harvested and planted daily and weekly year round
40.   A minimum of 225 food plants are grown and harvested on a daily/weekly basis year round