MPS teachers, students share aquaponics successes at international conference

On Saturday, September 9, 2012, students and teachers representing four MPS high schools involved in the NEA Foundation funded Urban Schools Aquaponics (USA Initiative) presented at the Growing Power National and International Urban and Small Farm Conference at State Fair Park. The event drew over 2000 participants from all over the world! The students and teachers presented the various ways they have implemented aquaponics and urban agricultural strategies to best suit their school environments. Student learning in these areas is project- and problem-based. Students shared their plans for research over the coming year. Teachers presented how the possibilities for integration of the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core Standards for mathematics and English/Language Arts, and other content areas are limited only by the imaginations of the participants.

Aquaponics looks different in each school and it provided our workshop participants with a lot of “food for thought”. Teachers are planning to continue with a professional learning community through an MPS, Growing Power, Sweet Water collaboration to “grow” aquaponics in schools that are interested in starting their own systems. Congratulations to the students and teachers from Morse/Marshall High School, Riverside High School, SCTE, and Vincent High School for sharing this engaging way for students to learn content while also learning life skills!

Back Row: Rick Johnson, Riverside; Daniel Johnston, SCTE; Kevin Hach, Vincent

Middle Row: Marquico Anthony-Wilder, SCTE; David Kontz, SCTE; Frances Collins, SCTE; Richard DePalma, Vincent; Kyle Slick, Vincent; Christian Ruiz, Morse/Marshall; Idajasha Wilder, Morse/Marshall

Front Row: Tommy Baker, Morse/Marshall; Karen Green, MPS 6-12 STEM Science Teaching Specialist, Stephen Fennelly, SCTE