The Greenhouse of the Future: Using a Sponsored Competition in a Capstone Course

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  • 1 Assistant professor, Horticulture, Department of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-0312; to whom reprint requests should be addressed.
  • 2 Manager, Plant Growth Center, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3120.

Horticulture students often lack practical experience integrating information from diverse sources to solve complex real-life problems. Capstone courses seek to remedy this by giving students an opportunity to demonstrate a range of workplace skills such as teamwork, effective communication, and critical thinking. Sponsored competitions provide educators with an active-learning framework into which the goals of a capstone course can be developed. The Greenhouse of the Future competition allowed undergraduate students to conceptualize, develop, and prototype innovative greenhouse designs in a national competition venue. This article explains the guidelines of the Greenhouse of the Future competition and discusses how the competition was integrated into the capstone course Greenhouse Management.

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