Edgerton Aquaponics Project Puts Focus On STEM Education
Edgerton High School in Wisconsin will be the latest school to benefit from using aquaponics to enhance STEM programming. The school plans to set up a greenhouse on the property that’s nestled between the high school and their elementary school.
The 30-by-50 foot greenhouse facility will allow the myriad of academic opportunities that will begin the following fall year.
The Edgerton aquaponics project was envisioned by the school’s life sciences teacher Tony DeWar. The project will cost about $150,000 and was funded in majority by an individual benefactor and a few other local donors.
DeWar hopes that the system will be something that many classes can use, including his biology and environmental science classes but also students in engineering classes, tech-ed, and even marketing courses.
“The real buzzword now is STEM, STEM, STEM. How you fit STEM into the traditional classroom environment, we’re still trying to figure out how’s that all going to work out,” DeWar said. “I think this is a course that will allow us to go in that direction and get a lot of cross-curricular ideas together.”
Student excitement is swelling, and many wonder when the Edgerton aquaponics project will be completed. DeWar hopes to have the exterior structure up before winter sets in.
What goes on inside its walls won’t fascinate every student. And those who are interested might choose to go into entirely different careers.
But DeWar hopes the aquaponics class at least teaches students about the essential biological process of converting waste to nutrients.
“We all know about fish. We all know about plants,” he said. “But it’s the what-happens-in-between with the nitrogen cycle. Without the nitrogen cycle, life on this planet couldn’t exist.
To learn more about this project check out the school’s aquaponics page here.