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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 13:20 
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Hi all, sounds like there are a few teachers in here who have school systems set-up or would like to.

I've created this thread so teachers can share what and how they have done, along with any advice and any pitfalls (politics and red tape :))

Aquamad and Johnnie7au, how about starting us off?

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 14:14 
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No problem...
An Aquaponics system could be used in oh so many ways, from preschool through to high school (talking year 12 here) - the only limit is the teacher(s) concerned and how much the school is prepared to spend on such a system...

Think back to primary school to when you grew seeds under wet tissue or wet cottonwool... the seeds would sprout, and grow (for as long as the seed had energy stored in its COTYLEDON)... but eventually the seed dies and you learn about the rest of the bean plant's life cycle through text books and posters (and those awful 1970 something videos)... now, if the seeds had been planted in a small classroom aquaponic system they could have followed the whole life cycle within the classroom, from seed to flower and back to seed.
(end point Number 1)

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 15:23 
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And then there is the 5 kingdoms (when learning about classification), one of which is the very diverse plant kingdom - you could have various plants growing in a system and have to classify them (there are over 400,000 knowen plants, so there would be no shortage to choose from).

At least four classification systems are in common use: Plants are classified into 12 phyla or divisions based largely on reproductive characteristics; they are classified by tissue structure into non-vascular (mosses) and vascular plants (all others); by "seed" structure into those that reproduce through naked seeds, covered seeds, or spores; or by stature divided into mosses, ferns, shrubs and vines, trees, and herbs....

Then there are the types of root systems, which could be examined from plants uprooted at the end of their 'useful' stage (perhaps after shedding seed)...

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 15:26 
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We are doing fair tests at the moment - you could use aquaponics to demonstrate the need for water and warmth to germinate seeds - you have a well balanced warm system running and have another system running with freezing water, and a dry system, and compare germination rates and percentages...

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 15:31 
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The whole nitrogen cycle would fit into a science class very well.

as i do some of my work in schools i get to eaves drop quite a bit :)

It seems that even in primary school the kids are getting taught about environmental issues and efficiency.

The 90% water use reduction in aquaponics would merit a practical experiment, side by side grown in dirt with fert and grown in aqua.

Then you can also have some maths involved
PPM -> mg/l
plotting graphs (ammonia and nitrite) (these actually are REALLY good to understand the cycle)

Am have you had a system apporved by the school yet? Johnnie? share your stories on setting up or attempting to set up.

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 16:55 
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The school got my request AFTER budgets were set, so I have to wait till the next budget meetings for 2007... and I have to prove that I can tie it into more than just one lesson here and one there plus I have to get around 90% of the middle school teachers to support the project - if I do this they will put money towards it...
I know that if I teach it to the boarding kids that they will take the knowledge back to their communities (we have a LOT of kids from the very far north (realy remote) areas where it is very difficult to get fresh produce... just immagine these kids going home and initiating the instilation of these kinds of systems in the far off communities - better food, better health, better communities and a whole whack of pride in their accoplishments!!!)
But I will continue to try and get the funding... at the moment we have submitted 2 praposals for govt. grants to start a good sized system - just got to wait another month and a half before we hear if we get the grants.... :?

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 20:07 
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yep, the nitrogen cycle fits into the middle school and senior school biology...
then there are the marine studies students who look at aquaculture (including Aquaponics) in semester 2... they get to design and build a system, or run and analyse a system, record the growth rates of 2 or more species of fish and/or yabby... and a whole lot of other things I have not looked at yet (I have not seen their entire syllabus yet ).

The christian studies unit would benifit from this as well as one of the strands deals with helping withing your community - well, growing food and giving it to famalies who are going through a hard time of some sort would answer that strand... could give it to a family in need either fresh or cooked up.

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PostPosted: Jul 30th, '06, 20:14 
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oh yes, what about teaching good old responsability!? The kids are instructed on how much food to feed to fish, how to test the water etc, and they have to do it (and record it on provided record keeping sheets, which later could be tabulated into graphs, or could be used to figure out when/why/how something within the system changed)

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PostPosted: Jul 31st, '06, 03:17 
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Environmental factors - reduced pollution, no chem fertilisers, water.

Market research - what to grow, will it sell, what's selling now etc

Biology - Live feed rearing, life cycles, bacteria, fish, plants.

Carpentry,metalwork, tech drawing, CAD - system construction and design.

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PostPosted: Jul 31st, '06, 08:15 
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Do you guys think that a small "class room size" units such as a fishtank or two tub "neal" design system would be of benifit in showing the "powers that be" the viability of a larger outdoor system?

If so then get going all you teachers! 2007 budget is comming up and you still have one good term left :)

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PostPosted: Jul 31st, '06, 08:53 
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way ahead of you Steve... I am planning a system similar to the portable herb garden (*I think that AA came up with, I could be wrong*)...
I have the tank, the tub, pvc pipeing, joiners, a fluro light with growlux tube and a small power head 'filter' - just have to source some decient wood to make it work!... then the system can be (carefully) moved from place to place as needed... perhaps I should put together a drawing or 2...

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PostPosted: Jul 31st, '06, 11:38 
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sounds good, pictures speak 1000 words :)

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PostPosted: Jul 31st, '06, 18:43 
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here we have a rough idea as to what I have in mind... not as long as pictures though - the system would be dependant on the tank I use...


Attachments:
File comment: The final system's size would be dependant upon the size of the fishtank chosen, not nearly as long as shown in this picture :)
school system.jpg
school system.jpg [ 48.93 KiB | Viewed 5868 times ]

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PostPosted: Jul 31st, '06, 22:31 
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If you had an indoors system that was not near a window and you were using artificial lighting It could be used as an example of the different wavelengths of light.

PAR is the abbreviation for Photosynthetically Active Radiation, refers to the wavelengths of sunlight that plants can use to power photosynthesis.
Typically between 400nm and 700nm

"growlux" type tubes have a couple of key wavelength peaks at the most useful PAR wavelengths, giving them their weird colour.

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PostPosted: Aug 1st, '06, 09:31 
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Nice AM, sort of like the old audio video setups schools had, wheeled from class room to class room. I like it.

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