Greenhouse Education Center

BPS Technology Stands Up STEM Resources

Walking in from the rainy, overcast day into the greenhouse education center, the warmth hits immediately. It’s not just the heating system, it’s the earnest greetings and energy from the scientists working inside.

The team from BPS Technology can be seen a few days a week inside the structure that sits on the Argyle High School campus. On the day we visit, David Coorts, technical director for BPS Agriculture, is harvesting lettuce from a hydroponic system, carefully bagging the tender leaves for measurement back at their Argyle lab. “Eventually, we would love to be working with students on trials like this one,” Coorts said. “The work we’re doing here involves plant science, agriculture concepts, data gathering, statistics, and represents the scientific method end-to-end. Bringing students alongside this work will be a great way to help bring STEM education to life.”

In addition to Coorts, a team of BPS Technology research scientists are onsite during our field trip. They’re monitoring rows and rows of corn plants inside the greenhouse, which was donated by the company and one of their operating entities, Verano365. With ongoing restrictions in place to safeguard students and educators during the COVID-19 era, the BPS team has been focused on setting up systems within the greenhouse and conducting internal trials so that they’re ready to engage with Eagles when the time is right.

“Right now, we’ve been getting to know the STEM teachers across all grade levels to learn more about their curriculum via virtual meetings,” Coorts said. “We hope we’ll be able to at least do some distance learning activities with the students this spring, especially during prime growing season.”

In the meantime, the company has been a monetary supporter of the Argyle Education Foundation and made a $40,000 investment in the greenhouse. The efforts were driven not only by a desire to further STEM education in their new hometown but also as a way to put the company’s values into action.

“Staying true to being strategic, servant-minded in our community, shepherds of our people and our technology, stewards of the earth’s resources, steadfast in our daily operations, and keeping a spiritual faith, keep us grounded and on the same page as a team,” says Bravis Brown, CEO of BPS Technology. “The greenhouse facility is a way that we can share those values with our Argyle community.”

A new Eagle Partner, BPS Technology and their family of companies, moved its corporate headquarters to Argyle at the end of 2020. Brown leads a crew of just over 40 employees, and his team has been able to add a few local residents as new hires since joining the Argyle community.

The rows of tomatoes, peppers, corn, flowers, and lettuce in the greenhouse are just a snapshot of the work that Coorts and his team are doing in the agriculture sector to make agrichemicals more efficient. BPS Technology also works to enhance chemical efficiency in the oil-and-gas sector. All of their projects are anchored by their proprietary technology, SymMAX. The aqueous-based host chemistry, SymMAX, is a first-of-its-kind breakthrough that will enhance almost any chemical or biological solution it’s mixed with by forming supramolecular structures. There are no harsh chemicals used to produce SymMAX, and it utilizes naturally occurring minerals in a mechanical manufacturing process.

Brown explains, “When SymMAX is introduced to a chemical solution, that new formula will then either work better or last longer than what’s available today. From a sustainability perspective, we can reduce the chemical intensity in industries — meaning we can help our partners do more with less.”

While the company does scientific research and discovery work in Argyle, their chemical manufacturing takes place in Midland, Texas.

The discoveries being made led the firm to file 12 patents in 2020, and they were recently short-listed by D CEO and Dallas Innovates as a top-four finalist for the 2020 Innovation Awards in the manufacturing category. The recognition is among several the company has received in the last year, including being a top-five finalist in the international FoodBytes! Pitch competition in the AgTech category. They also took home the number two spot on Fort Worth Inc. magazine’s Best Places to Work in Fort Worth list for 2020.

“The grit of this team cannot be understated,” said Brown. “We’re launching products that address critical issues in multiple industries, and our team’s drive for both discovery and continuous improvement impress me every day. In addition to critical STEM abilities, hopefully, perseverance and curiosity are skills we can nurture with Argyle students in the coming years, too.”

More information about BPS Technology can be found at www.bps.technology.

photos courtesy of Argyle ISD

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