We built an educational platform to teach students to use their imaginations, hands and hearts.
Project based learning goes beyond generating student interest. Students’ abilities to acquire new understanding are enhanced when they are connected to meaningful problem solving activities and when students are helped to understand why, when and how those facts and skills are relevant. Aquaponics is a method of food production which combines the best aspects of aquaculture and hydroponics to create a highly productive living ecosystem for sustainable agriculture. Blue Stream Farms seeks to bring aquaponics to our local schools as a project based learning platform and develop integrated Science, Technology, Writing, Engineering, Arts and Math courses that will allow students to learn the concepts in the classroom and apply them to operate a commercially viable business.
Our aquaponics platform will improve three challenges that our area faces today; education, health and environment. First, project based learning will motivate our students and prepare them for college, careers and citizenship. It will also provide schools and districts with new ways to communicate and to connect with parents, communities and the wider world. Second, we want to change life-long eating habits by providing nutrition awareness campaigns, recipes and community events focused around food and making better food choices. When you have access to healthy, fresh foods, you see a decrease in the cancer rates, obesity rates and diabetes rates. Third, we want our students to become stewards of the environment. Threatened by problems related to water shortages, topsoil loss, reliance on fossil fuel inputs and a changing climate, the productivity and reliability of our food systems and ecosystems are at stake. Alternatives are needed which are more efficient in use of resources, sustainable, resilient, and better mesh with our communities. Aquaponics is an agricultural technique poised to meet our current and future needs for locally raised, healthy and sustainable produce.