In a recent trip to Atlanta, Tawnya had the opportunity to grow minds from around the world, introducing high school students and teachers from South Africa, South America and the US to the concepts of aquaponics. Model Kyoto is a partnership between Alterra Global Education Initiatives Emory College Center for Science Education and Emory’s Hughes Science Initiative. Model Kyoto 2011 serves interested students and their teachers to connect the dots between theory and practice, between classroom learning and committed action. Consistent with Kyoto 2006: Advancing to the Challenge of Climate Change, this symposium approaches climate change mitigation through local and global involvement.
In addition to an interactive discussion, the group got a chance to see a working system firsthand through a presentation by Dr David Epstein and Kenneth Lowell of the integrated Biogarden and Incubator. During the site visit, students and teachers gained a greater understanding of how the individual components work as a complete ecosystem mimicking nature. Through a method of recycling and decomposing organic matter including grasses , leaves and worm castings, a food web is created that begins with algae and gives rise to a family of living organism that sustains an edible fish population, including tilapia, crawfish, perch and catfish. The integrated Biogarden™ and Incubator™ is similar to aquaponics in that fish are included within the recirculating garden but at the same time the system is independence on fish. That’s because it is designed to control for the amount and type of waste tat feeds the loop to provide nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other mineral, supporting even the heaviest feeding plants.
Many of the students are planning on building aquaponics systems both at school and home to address issues of draught and be more responsible for their personal food production. Colorado Aquaponics will extend its mission of growing minds through education using blog, interactive chat sessions, webcasts and classroom training as necessary to make the possibilities of aquaponics a reality in the classroom throughout the world.