The Council of the City of New York
Council Member Costa Constantinides, District 22

December 10, 2018
Contact: Terence Cullen

Constantinides Unveils New Hydroponic Lab at I.S. 126

Astoria, NY — Council Member Costa Constantinides joined with educators and innovative science professionals today to open a new hydroponic laboratory at I.S. 126, another major step in his Science 2050 budget initiative. A remarkable 11 schools in Council District 22 have received funding for labs since Constantinides took office in 2014.

“Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are the careers of the future, which is why it’s important we give tomorrow’s leaders hands-on opportunities today,” said Council Member Constantinides, who also chairs the Committee on Environmental Protection. “I hope I.S. 126  students will greatly benefit from this lab, as students throughout our district will in generations to come. Thanks to New York Sun Works and the faculty of I.S. 126 for your partnership on this project.”

For photos of this event, click here.

Hydroponic labs are a vital component to the Constantinides plan to embolden science education in his district’s public schools. This innovative technology allows students to grow plant life with a relatively low amount water and mineral solutions instead of soil. Not only do hydroponic labs offer hands-on biology education, they also teach students about agriculture, technology, and nutrition. Hydroponic labs also employ ladybugs rather than pesticides to protect plants.

Joining the Council Member for the ribbon cutting were: Dr. Philip A. Composto, School District 30 Superintendent; Alexander Angueira, Principal of I.S. 126; Anju Rupchandani, Managing Director of Zone 126; Manuela Zamora and Sidsel Robards of New York Sun Works; and students of I.S. 126.

Some of the herbs and vegetables harvested from this hydroponic lab will be donated to Communities for Healthy Food. Constantinides allocated $160,000 in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget to install the lab at I.S. 126, located at 23rd Street and 31st Avenue. Other schools either operating a lab or earmarked to receive one include: P.S. 122, P.S. 70, P.S. 17, P.S. 84, I.S. 141, Long Island City High School, P.S. 171, P.S. 85, Q300, and the Young Women’s Leadership School. New York Sun Works installed the hydroponic lab at I.S. 126 and trained faculty on how students can get the most out of this technology.

“The I.S. 126 community is very excited about the opening of our hydroponic lab,” said Alexander Angueira, principal of I.S. 126. “We are looking forward to the hands on experiences that the students will receive as well as the connection that it will give them to our environment. I’m happy that the students will be receiving hands on instruction that they will be able to use all their lives. We are hopeful that the lab will help our students become more environmentally conscious and put them on the path to becoming energy conserving citizens.”

“We are grateful for Council Member Constantinides passionate leadership on science education initiatives,” said Sidsel Robards, of New York Sun Works. “With the council members support the students of Astoria will grow up to be leaders in STEM, nutrition, and planetary health while growing food to feed their community.”

“Zone 126 is excited to be celebrating with IS 126Q our Neighborhood Community School, Councilman Constantinides and other community members today as we open the new hydroponics lab,” said Anju Rupchandani, Managing Director of Zone 126. This lab will be a solid foundation where students in middle school can gain tactile STEM skills that will put them on a path to college and career readiness.”

Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the Chair of the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on the For-Hire Vehicles, Land Use, Parks, and Transportation Committees and the Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee. For more information, visit