August 9, 2018

Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School Launches STEAM-Based Williams Research Greenhouse Development

Project designed by local middle school and high school students

LAS VEGAS – This academic year Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School will launch its highly anticipated Williams Research Greenhouse, a project that includes 3,168 square feet of growing space, additional storage, automated controls, and growing technology. Media is invited for a tour and special dedication ceremony, Aug. 15, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Faith Lutheran students designed the project, which contains two side-by-side growth rooms with autonomous temperature, water, and lighting controls, resulting in two different growing chambers. The environmental controls allow plants to thrive throughout the entire year, increasing student research opportunities. Students will employ hydroponics, aquaponics, and soil
growing techniques to conserve water and maximize production.

The Williams Research Greenhouse provides hands-on experience for more than 1,900 high school and middle students at Faith Lutheran. From growing fresh produce for food classes to teaching live organ systems and ecology to 6th grade students, to teaching cellular processes to 9th grade students, the greenhouse will be used for both academic and community outreach

“When success begins to look like a multiple-choice problem we are not fully preparing students for the unforgiving careers that await them,” said Stephen Blank, one of Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School’s science teachers who will be utilizing the Williams Greenhouse for students. There’s no “Teacher Edition” that came with this greenhouse.

When a plant turns yellow and doesn’t taste right, or a system doesn’t function as expected, there will be conversations that emerge, ideas exchanged, a search for information, hypotheses posed, a possible solution expressed, a procedure proposed, a setup engineered, an experiment conducted, an observation measured, results reviewed, comparisons made, a hypothesis revisited, and communication and ideas exchanged once more. 

The students won’t be learning the Scientific Method, they will be organically living it with no guarantees for success.”

Although every 6-12th grade student will benefit from using the greenhouse, special attention was given to design elements meant to serve students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. These students, members of Faith Lutheran’s Mark 10:14 program, will work in teams alongside mentors to experience productive, hands-on activities while gaining valuable work and “real world” collaboration skills. The students in this unique and special program will also benefit from the sale of flowers and produce in yearly “farm sales.”

The development of Faith Lutheran’s Williams Greenhouse was funded in part by a significant grant by Switch because the project aligns design, form, and function with science studies – the STEAM values held by Switch.  Faith Lutheran has also entered into a collaborative partnership with local food bank Three-Square to provide fresh produce from the greenhouse throughout the year to benefit the clients of Three-Square.

“As a community partner, Switch understands that students must be immersed in whole-mind, STEAM-based learning programs to be successful in their futures,” said Dr. Steve Buuck CEO, Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School. “Switch’s investment in this greenhouse project is a reflection of their commitment to STEAM education and enables students to utilize technology to sustainably grow food in our desert.”

“One very important element of STEAM education is to teach young people how to communicate, collaborate and lead teams,” said Missy Young, Chief Information Officer at Switch. “We are proud to contribute to this project because we believe these innovative programs are critical building blocks in creating students who are ready to lead and achieve in
the future.”

What: Dedication ceremony of Williams Research Greenhouse
When: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15
Where: Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School, 2015 S. Hualapai Way
Why: Tour the Greenhouse, interview students involved in the project, sample fresh produce!

About Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School
Faith Lutheran Middle School & High School is the largest non-public school in Nevada and the largest Lutheran school in the United States, with a record number of 1,900 students enrolled in the 2017 – 2018 academic year. Faith’s 50-acre campus is located near Downtown Summerlin. The school offers traditional college preparatory curriculum and specialized technical and creative academies including STEM, Justice & Advocacy, Business and Entrepreneurship, Film and Broadcast, and the Conservatory of the Fine Arts. The school’s mission is Everyone Prepared! Everyone Saved! For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Susan Somers
FM Marketing LLC
Phone: (702) 249-9900

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