Youth can learn about farming and coding as they use the app to control a FarmBot as it plants, waters, and weeds a raised bed garden plot that they can then design and implement in the community!
When implementing their Farmbot (https://farm.bot), the Independence Public Library in Kansas partnered with local professionals for building the robot and teaching the participants to code. The purchase includes the hardware for the robot, as well as the software for the coding. Libraries will have to invest in their own seeds and garden materials. Teens use a Raspberry Pi and other devices and download and set up the operating system. Depending on the peripherals for the bot, there can be watering, lights, thermometers and more. Connects to home WIFI and the internet. The aim is to grow crops and be self sufficient. FarmBot can be used as a seasonal program. Participants can build the robot and code it for a custom garden each year. It is recommended that the same group of participants work with the robot throughout the year, as the coding software is unique to the device. FarmBot provides an excellent opportunity for practical coding, as well as community engagement. Independence Public Library also created a manual for the use of the FarmBot Web App. The manual could be used with a group of students to design and implement a FarmBot garden in their community as part of a library/community partnership. On the FarmBot website, find several tutorial videos for learning more about how to use these Bots. This resource is valuable to library staff because it provides the lesson plan for teaching how to use a FarmBot and learning about farming as a result. Also, the Farmbot is useful in demonstrating to community organizations and funders how computational thinking can be integrated into library services in order to help youth gain important skills.