Middle Township High School (Cape May County) teachers Chuck Gehman, Eileen M. Mathers, Bill Doan, Jr., John King, and Andrea King have received a grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education for their project, Aquaculture Across the Science Curriculum. All high school science students will be involved with the project to farm tilapia, a fish grown worldwide as a food source. Each class will work within its discipline – biology, chemistry, physics, horticulture, and ecology – to apply aspects that are relative to raising fish. Horticulture students will develop methods and build systems that allow vegetable crops to be produced using fish wastes. This combined approach of hydroponics and aquaculture is termed aquaponics.
Students are responsible for all necessary care of the fish. The project is expected to produce 100-150 pounds of fish by the end of the year, as well as about 25 heads of lettuce and 15 pounds of tomatoes per week. When the fish are harvested, students will prepare multimedia presentations that highlight their participation and achievement in the program. The students will serve fish to fellow students and the community and share their presentations. Sharing the food and the students’ experiences will help foster relationships with the community and local businesses which may lead to job opportunities for students.
Once implemented, the program will be able to sustain itself. The fish will produce offspring for future crops. Students will sell vegetables to help fund the project, as well as solicit donations form local businesses.
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