Rory; I have been working for ten years in retirement as a retired public school teacher to get farming ag. into the schools. I have three schools each with unique requirements and curriculum. Before installing a farmbot in a school you might do well to get several things going.
Vermont schools are part of a natural Farm to School lunch program. the New hampshire school has developed a greenhouse on a land fill utilizing free heat and water. You are trying to meld two multimillion dollar programs and budgets.
There are five layers of interest to enlist. 1. teachers. Get at least five teachers to put Seed pods in their classrooms under t5 grow lights. Plant the seeds in a remote Farmbot and get the plants started. 2. get the administrators to recognize what you are up to, Use the School yearly science fare. 3. Get in front of the Hot lunch administrator and get interest and vision about what you are doing. 4. You can’t compete with subsidized food costs, So don’t try to. 5. We contracted with a local Farmer and paid him a fair wage and had the kids plant, (an afternoon in the fields) and in time we will harvest potatoes. You can use waste as a good learning point. Three out of every five dug potatoes are only indirectly useable by the hot lunch or are not directly useable. This is where you inventiveness comes in. In the 29 to 39 depression fish and chips was a potato cut six ways and fried or cooked with some salt. Not the ground up steamed heated under high pressure and formed into what we call potato chips today. I can only imagine the nutritional value.
There is out there right now good farm to school curriculum.
When we present we use a local farmer ( ours happens to be a chicken egg farmer. There are at least 6 layers of egg production with a lot of specialization. We went back to a 29-39 barn a made a power point showing how a farmer and four sons produced eggs during the depression and lived. We then showed a modern egg farm and the amount of technology and 6 vertical specialities are necessary to produce an egg. One collating machine costs $250,000. this is a robot from conveyor to pallet.
I would also suggest that you expand the functionality of the farmbot so as to cut out christmas cards, play remote chess, Monitor temperature and make good graphs. The list goes on and on for activities that are school related. Use the onshape to make the connection to CAD.
Over one third of a chicken farmers budget for his quarter mile chicken coop for 20.000 chickens producing 16,000 eggs a day is in technology. 80% of the rest is in feed.
I have not given up on my quest but my assembled farmbot in my living room is still not up and running. I had a superintendent and retired principal in my living room yesterday asking me when it is ready to go. They are on the board of a new technology center, but I am sitting on a machine that is not ready. I told them six months and I will be further ahead than I am now.
Most school personal are not versed in this type of stuff. We build bridges with popsicle sticks and glue and do stress tests. How would you like to show up on a job site and have a foreman ask you what you know abt sizes of re-rod, three types of concrete, different sizes and kinds of steel, and how to direct traffic and all you can say is that you have built bridges with white glue and popsicle sticks?
I have not given up on my quest, because having looked at 14 depressions and especially 1913, 29-39, 1850, I find subsistence family farming is always part of the recovery. It has happened before and will happen again. Our biggest factor is technology, it has undone us and will also be part of the solution.