Students Build Aquaponics Project
Saint Joan Antida High School thrives on the diversity of its students, using it to enhance the range of learning curricula, and create continuous opportunities for students to learn and grow. This approach is reflected through a project students worked on for Global Youth Service Day.
Students from the Environmental Science and Biotechincal Engineering classes at Saint Joan Antida partnered with Lead to Succeed and the Water Council to learn about Aquaponics and build an Aquaponics system of their own.
The year-long project started by learning about and researching Aquaponics, a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics in which each are dependent on the other to produce food. Fishes are the aquaculture portion -- giving nutrients to the plants that are the hydroponics part of the system. Students were able to gain global awareness and health literacy skills through their research on Aquaponics. They discovered that Aquaponic systems are a life saving technology used throughout the world. Aquaponics has become so commonly used because it saves a large amount of water and grows healthier and bigger crops faster. Aquaponics is a healthier choice for producing organic food.
After extensive research, the students implemented their project by building an Aquaponics system following the guidelines they found through their research. They worked together to build their Aquaponics systemThe students used their problem solving skills to raise money to purchase the fundamental equipment needed to keep the Aquaponics system running properly and acquire a portable Aquaponics system to teachothers about this method of producing food. The students, along with their teacher Emily Harrington, wrote multiple grants to purchase a small Aquaponics system that could travel with them. They won a grant to buy a new system, along with fishes, fish food, some plants, and other supplies to keep the Aquaponics system working. Once it was purchased, they were able to take this system around to present about their research on Aquaponics and how it could be used in an urban environment such as our own.
Carmen Smith, one of the students who worked on the project, said, "As a 17 year old who didn't really pay attention to the environment before, the Aquaponics project made me very aware of how we as human impact the earth and how we need to help the earth. This Aquaponics project helped people in the inner city who do not have access to fresh, organic food learn how to grow them." She, along with her classmates, learned many valuable skills through the process of producing this project. Aside from the ones mentioned above, they were able to learn how to manage their goals, time, and the project, guiding others to produce results and most importantly how to work together. After a successful year, they hope to continue teaching about Aquaponics to many more people in the community so that community can go on and build their own systems.