The 2016 Best Robotics Competition Essay example

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The 2016 BEST Robotics competition, Bet the Farm, is all about implementing new ways to produce crops. Thanks to modern technology, there is more than one way to grow vegetables. After receiving the challenge from BEST Robotics that included the lettuce and tomato hydroponic stand, one question plagued many of the team members ' minds. What is hydroponics? It is the technique of growing vegetation without soil. This process is rich in history and science, and is important to the Kansas farming industry. Though the word hydroponics is fairly new, different cultures have been growing plants without soil since ancient times. Dating back to the Aztecs, people were growing plants on a river. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was considered a type of hydroponics. Theophrastus, (372-287 B.C) a Greek philosopher, undertook various experiments in crop nutrition. There were even hieroglyphic records of gardening without soil (Resh, 2016).
The first scientific experiment to discover the essentials for plant growth was performed in 1600 by a Flemish chemist named Jan Van Helmont. He wanted to prove that plants got most of their sustenance from water. He accomplished this by planting a five-pound willow shoot in a tube containing 200 pounds of soil. After five years of watering, using only rainwater, he measured the plant and the soil. The plant had increased in weight by 160 pounds, yet the soil had lost less than two ounces. He, therefore,…

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