While most of his Strathcona Christian Academy classmates are sitting in desks Wednesday morning, 17-year-old Schroeder is in a warm and humid portable classroom troubleshooting how to keep the pH down in the hundreds of litres of water trickling through fish bowls and plant beds.“I like science a lot, and I feel like I’m making an impact with this,” Schroeder said as he stood next to blueprints for expansion plans.
What started as a side project between classes for teacher Matthias Cheung’s science students has evolved into a three-credit course in aquaponics at the Sherwood Park school. The practice pairs keeping fish (aquaculture) with growing plants in water indoors (hydroponics).
At least 60 fish live in two 600-litre tubs and a smaller tank in the classroom. Dirty fish tank water is pumped into waiting rock beds full of spinach, mint, lettuce, tomatoes, and other plants. Bacteria break down chemicals in fish pee into nutrients that fertilize the plants. By absorbing those nutrients, the plants clean the water, which then cycles back to the fish.
Very happy to read about this school project. I personally think that we cannot go wrong by fostering educational and fun activities such as this in our schools. It’s a great way of learning how to farm food in an innovative manner while also learning how natural nutrient processes really work!
Posted by: R. Freeman Irafs Group