By Adam Saldivar, student journalist for Minarets Press
Minarets High School is now featuring a new aquaponics system run by agriculture teacher Keeley Hall. An aquaponics system is a food production system that utilizes hydroponics in the water to collect nutrients from fish, allowing plants to be grown. When asked about the location of the new aquaponics system, Hall stated, “We will be utilizing the current greenhouse to house the aquaponics system by Charlie Crose for his SLE (Senior Legacy Experience).”
According to Hall, the system will provide numerous benefits to the Minarets agriculture program. “The Agriculture Department will use the aquaponics system to learn how to grow food utilizing the technology incorporated in aquaponics,” she says. Hall goes on to list how each of the different agriculture classes will be able to use the system. “The Agribusiness classes will be able to market the produce grown; Animal Science will be able to learn about fish; AFNR (Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources class) will utilize their sensors to test water, pH, etc. to keep the fish and plants healthy; Biology will be able to gather data for agriscience projects; Ag Mech can assist in the building and maintenance of the system; and Plant Science will have the opportunity to utilize the system during their hydroponic unit in the upcoming school year. FFA (the club) will not necessarily be using it, except for student SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) projects.”
The new aquaponics system will help enrich and expand agriculture education for Minarets students. When asked what the system could mean for Minarets as a school, Hall answered “We won’t fully know the answer to this question until it is up and running, but I imagine it will allow students an additional way for students to showcase their interests in agriculture. We hope it will encourage more involvement within the ag department as we expand our scope.” With a new turn being taken in the Agriculture Department, new, exciting possibilities are being added to the Minarets learning experience.
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