Hello BEST subscribers,

This week the bioenergy and sustainability
interns have decided to post about sustainability education. For my
post, I'd like to highlight some of the programs that have been started
at schools in my home town of Boca Raton.

At Donna Klein Jewish
Academy, the students have helped setup a garden to grow fresh fruit and
vegetables. The plants are grown in 15 gallon bags that allow the garden
to be contained in a small space. They have also set up two composters
and a cistern to collect rain water for


Just north of Boca Raton in Delray
Beach FL, American Heritage School has set up an aquaponics system that
grows plants using the fish waste from a fish pond. The project was
described in their newsletter. I have pasted the text and attached a
picture at the bottom of this email.

Although these two gardens will
not produce enough food to feed the entire world, hopefully they will
spark interest in the students who go on to solve some of the world's
food security issues. If we are to produce the next generation of
innovators and problem solvers, I it is crucial that our students be
exposed to ideas like urban farming and aquaponics as early as possible.

Michael Bank

Undergraduate Intern

2014 Bioenergy and Sustainability

Soil and Water Sciences department

[log in to unmask]

System Comes to Heritage 

Students are raving about science at AHS
these days. "We really wanted to show students how to grow food from
plant to plate," said Mrs. Alicia Torres, Science Teacher in the Lower
School, " and when we saw the Aquaponics System at a Green Conference in
West Palm Beach, we thought it was the perfect way to incorporate real
life into our science curriculum," Mrs. Torres added. Four months later,
the state-of-the-art growing system that uses fish, specialized hydroton
(or clay pebbles) and a grow bed system sprouted just outside the door
of the Lower School Science Lab! Already there are veggies and herbs
growing, and soon the school cafeteria will have fresh organic
ingredients to put into the menu at lunch. For real!

"Aquaponics is a
great way to grow plants instead of planting them in the dirt,"
explained Mrs. Torres. "It is better because the fish, bacteria, and
plants are all helping each other. Not only is the food fresh, and we
are teaching our students how to help the environment, it's a fun way to
teach the children about the Nitrogen Cycle," she added.

"This type of
food harvesting dates back to the Aztecs and 6th century ancient China!"
said Mr. Stone, Headmaster, fascinated by the history of the system and
how it has withstood the test of time.

Even EPCOT has a working
Aquaponics system in their Land Pavilion within Future World. Indeed,
AHS is taking big steps into the future and was also recently recognized
as a 'Green School of Promise' for integrating several key
sustainability criteria into the culture of the school. Congratulations
to all for helping to preserve and protect our environment. Make sure
you stop by the Butterfly Garden, and check out all of the amazing feats
of nature the students are accomplishing.