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Caleb Harper, Director of the MIT Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg), joined us at the 2016 ISTE Conference & Expo EdTekTalks to share the powerful work he and his team of “farmers” are doing to produce Food Computers that promote an open-source ecosystem. These computers serve as tools for users to experiment, innovate, hack and grow. Every time users grow and harvest, they contribute to a library of climate recipes that can be borrowed and scaled so that users around the world can gain access to the best and freshest foods. By placing Food Computers into classrooms, K-12 students and educators become part of the worldwide community that is breaking down barriers of entry and developing open source hardware and software platforms for hydroponic and aeroponic agriculture systems. Students become part of the network of farmers, makers, scientists and others who are laying the groundwork for the future of food production. With useful visual aids to explain issues of food insecurity and distribution, Harper employs passion and humor to open up the world of the MIT Media Lab’s work in creating beneficial agricultural climates with a Food Computer, and explores the technology that makes it possible to code climate recipes, superior flavor and better nutrition. These collaborative tools and platforms make the science behind modern agriculture more accessible, and are opening doors for students to be an integral part of putting the power of food production back in the hands of the people who need it the most.

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