FarmBot Sows the Seeds of Sustainability at Solana Ranch Elementary

September 30, 2017

Balfour Beatty Construction in partnership with the San Diego Green Building Council hosted its 6th! annual Green Apple Day of Service! in 2017 we had an incredible opportunity to assist Solana Beach School District’s STREAM Program (Science – Technology – Research – Engineering – Arts – Math). We worked with the STREAM students from Solana Ranch Elementary School to build a FarmBot on an existing planter box, connect the FarmBot to a dedicated solar panel, install fencing, and create an sustainable organic garden for the school. Click here to learn about the FarmBot:


Students attended


Staff attended


Additional Volunteers attended


Students will be impacted this year

Intended impact of project

Reduced environmental impact
Improved occupant health & performance
Increased environmental & sustainability literacy

Impact of project

Improved student/staff health and wellness
Energy and/or water conservation
Beautification of school/site
Environmental restoration
Improved environmental & sustainability literacy

More impact of project

6 years, 1 School, 100 Volunteers, 50 elementary students/future sustainers, $27,000 dollars and 1 smart robot.
On a sunny, late September Saturday a community rallied behind the organizational efforts of the San Diego Green Building Council partnered with Balfour Beatty Construction to kick-off a 6th year of Green Apple Day of Service. This year, the Solana Ranch Elementary School did something quite special. The school’s ‘Farm Lab’, part of its STREAM program (Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Art, Math), served as a focal point in the education of tomorrow’s sustainability leaders. In addition to planting 25 fruit trees, installing rain cisterns with local artist murals, erecting a perimeter fence, and constructing multiple wooden planters, the crown-jewel was the introduction of “Farmbot”, a precision farming tool used to reduce water use, energy, transportation and overall crop grow time. Better yet, this technological wonder was outfitted with a solar power system, making it even more sustainable. After installation, the students were able to apply a customized coding program, detailing sowing, watering, weed control, and harvesting instructions maximizing crop yield while minimizing resources – you know, everyday elementary school student stuff. The entire concept showcases a fantastic example of technology application towards manageable sustainability practices. This was truly a great example of community effort, combining the positive forces of education, technology and social responsibility into one sunny Saturday.