Currently, the Nourish The Planet aquaponics system lies on the property of a school in Campion, Colo. The school leases several greenhouses to us in order for our systems to operate. While we have yet to incorporate our aquaponics system with that of the classroom locally, it is being done across the globe to increase youth awareness of sustainable systems such as aquaponics.

According to a recent news article in the Yorkshire Post, the Swinton Community School in Rotherham, England, will be the newest site of an aquaponics system allowing students to research, study and fish, literally and figuratively, for new ideas in sustainable agriculture.

Aquaponics is considered a sustainable agriculture system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics to grow plants while using recycled water and fish waste-enriched water to fertilize the plants.

The school is utilizing two recycled buses, which were placed into the school to house the growing plants and fish. According to the article, the system will also be accompanied by an extended diploma certification in fish husbandry for secondary students to study and will also be used by students in multiple classroom settings and for multiple subjects.

The Thorne and District Gazzette also reported on the new system and that funding would come not only from the original sponsors, Evolution Aqua and Kitsu Koi, but also from internal self-sustaining funds. The article reported headteacher David Pridding as having said, “This work will be self funding and run as a separate business, raising money through sponsorship and sales of fish and plants that are nurtured here.”

Other schools that are adapting aquaponics systems as a form of school monetary funding and as a subject of study include Sickles High School in Florida, Avon Grove Charter School in Pennsylvania and Bexley Middle School in Columbus, Ohio, which has a aquaponics system used to teach students the cycle of life, according to the journal Columbus Business First.

These schools are only a few prime examples of the growing trend in combining aquaponics with schools to teach children the ecological and economical sides of sustainable agriculture. In California, a bicycle campaign known as “The Sustainable Living Bike Tour,” is going from school to school to educate children on the importance of programs and systems such as aquaponics.

The Santa Ynez Valley Journal reported a member of “The Sutainable Living Bike Tour” as having said, “We cycle the coast of California, working to restore ecosystems and delivering in-school sustainability workshops along the way. Our mission is to provide inspirational hands-on, project-based programming that empowers and inspires students to contribute to their schools, homes and communities.”

written by Katie Kelley, Social Media Intern, Winter 2011

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