High School in NYC Adds Rooftop Aquaponics

NYC Rooftop Aquaponics Adds New Tool For Learning For High Schoolers

the Food and Finance High School in NYC recently upgraded its agriculture program with a rooftop aquaponics system. Philson A.A. Warner, founding director of the Conell Cooperative Extension – New York City (CUCE-NYC) is heading up the new Hydroponics, Aquaculture Aquaponics Learning Lab.

The students learn to do more with the sciences as they care for about 8,000 pounds of fish and many more heads of lettuce. While lettuce can take up to ten weeks to cultivate outdoors, in this NYC rooftop aquaponics system they take only three weeks to cultivate.

The greenhouse runs on solar energy and has more than enough panels that it also contributes power back to the grid. Warner designed the 1,664 sqft greenhouse, which is now a part of the New York City Department of Education’s Park West Educational Campus. The project was financed through private donations, the New York City Council and the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.

The Food Education Fund, a nonprofit foundation, also has been a key partner in developing and sustaining the learning labs. Nan Shipley, chair of the board of the Food Education Fund, proudly pointed out that the Food and Finance High School has a 91 percent graduation rate, with most of its students advancing to college or full employment in related fields.

About 400 students are enrolled at Food and Finance High School. The school’s curriculum includes paid internships at restaurants and other food service businesses. The opening of the greenhouse marked the latest expansion of ongoing learning lab programs in a long-standing partnership with Cornell University.

This partnership is fostering a great career path for these students in the burgeoning Controlled Environment Agriculture industry.

To learn more about this project, and see video touring the facility, check out the original story here.

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