Working together with EVOFarm, students installed an aquaponics system on their Gardena campus. After researching aquaponics, ECHS students attended workshops on how to build a system of their own, then brought what they learned back to mentor their ECMS groups. Together students executed a hands-on build out of their very own system.
What the heck is an aquaponics system?
Aquaponics is a closed-loop, soil-less growing system that maximizes the amount of food that can be grown per square foot and uses 95% less water than conventional agriculture. Instead of soil, the system includes a fish tank and edible plants that create a symbiotic relationship for watering and fertilizing the crops.
Students worked with EVOFarm, to design a custom system that would work in our small, urban school. The design includes eight grow towers, which allows the students to grow food vertically.
“Aquaponics system is a good fit to middle school because it is a great way to teach the Nitrogen cycle, which is a part of science standards,” commented Ada Ocampo, ECMS science and math teacher. “The fish waste contains nitrogen which is then converted to a different form of nitrogen by bacteria in the water that is then used by plants for growth.”
Students learned about systems-thinking and the nitrogen cycle in a hands-on fashion — much more interesting than learning from a book!
Come take a tour of our our Middle School campus this fall to see the aquaponics system in action.