Luke goes on to say, "I am in a unique position as I have had the system since I began my teaching career, but I’d have to say that it provides an extra element that helps students to stay involved and interested in my courses. The system also gives us a sustainable supply of fresh vegetables."
Teachers often wonder about the time they have to put into maintenance of STEM Food Growing Systems. According to Luke, "The system is nearly self- sustaining as well, it requires only a small amount of upkeep such as keeping the fish tank full and clean."
In the photo on the left, one of Luke's students is examining the flower that appears on one of the tomato plants prior to the plant's production of cheery tomatoes. Luke "uses the System to grow tomatoes and peppers".
Rosamond High ordered their STEM Food Growing System with Induction Grow Lights which allow for the growing of flowering plants like tomatoes and peppers. Fluorescent Lights, which is another lighting choice for schools will only grow Leafy Green veggies. If you want to grow flowering plants, we now offer LED Grow Lights instead of Induction Grow Lights.
Luke's closing words: "Overall, I’d say that the aquaponics system has been a great addition to my classroom as it provides various learning opportunities as well as allowing us to have an occasional salsa party."
Part 2 of this Series is Coming Soon. Watch for it in the STEM Education Coalition Newsletter and here. This time we'll be focusing on an incredible Elementary School in Tucson, AZ called Manzo that was an early adopter of Aquaponics STEM Food Growing Systems.
The Manzo System has been running since late 2011; and they've done an incredible job of integrating Aquaponics with STEM subjects.
Part 1: After graduating from California State University, Channel Islands, Luke Hanes began his teaching career at Rosamond High in Rosamond, California where he teaches Conceptual Physics, Environmental Science and Green Technology.
According to Luke, his STEM Food Growing System "is especially useful in my environmental science and green technology classes, where it can be used as a model ecosystem, and as an example of sustainable, eco- friendly technology. The system allows my students to interact with and observe naturally occurring processes such as competition for resources, mutualistic relationships between species, nutrient cycling, and photosynthesis."
In the photo, Luke and one of his Rosamond High students are measuring the length of one of the tilapia that are being raised in their STEM Food Growing System's Fish Tank. On top of the tank is the Automatic Fish Feeder that makes raising fish in a classroom that shuts down on weekends and holidays very convenient. The Automaic Fish Feeder also helps to feed the fish the amount of food they need each day in small increments spread through out the day.
Luke is looking forward to the day when his fish are more mature so he and his students "will have the opportunity to harvest tilapia".
What Is Aquaponics? Aquaponics is a food growing technolgy that utilizes live fish to fertilize vegetables and fruits in a cross-linked eco-system where the fish fertilize the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish. The fish are sent separate from the System.
STEM Food Growing Systems integrate Plant and Fish Biology with Chemistry, Math and Engineering. It's STEM Education that actually deals with stems.
Here's what Aquaponics STEM Teachers have to share direct from the field where they are using our STEM Food Growing Systesm to teach their Aquaponics STEM Classes.
This is a 3-Part Series that's being published in the STEM Education Coalition Weekly Newsletter. The STEM Education Coalition Newsletter is an amazing resource to keep you up to date about what's happening with STEM in schools across the nation and in State and Government administrations and agencies.
To Learn More about bringing a STEM Food Growing System into your class- room, click on our "Bring Your Classroom To Life!" document. It will tell and show you everything you need to know to create an Aquaponics STEM classroom.
Part 3 of this Series is Coming Soon. Watch for it in the STEM Education Coalition Newsletter and here. We'll be focusing on another Elementary School to demonstrate that Aquaponics is applicable even in those early grades. Here you'll witness how the school Library at Davis Bilingual Elementary School transformed to encompass their STEM Food Growing System lab. Elementary students take to Aquaponics like fish to water (pardon the pun)