Authentic audiences

After more than a year of dedicated design, planning, and building a system from scratch, aquaponics at Friends went live this fall. On February 4, Upper School students, including Mika Poblete '17, Ruby Pritchett '17, Nisha Rao '18, Juliet Aze '19, Dora Hilker '19, and Carter Ruffin '19, along with 9th grade environmental science teacher Katherine Jenkins, presented their work to educators, administrators and activists at the 2017 Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) annual conference, which took place in Towson, Md., February 2- 5. The Friends contingent’s workshop titled, Build and Operate Your Own Student-Run Aquaponics System on Campus, walked conference-goers through each step of the process, including how to monitor levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the system, and some of the pitfalls and lessons learned along the way. The aquaponics system presently produces sorrel, kale and lettuce, which grow in a nutrient solution fortified by a “healthy colony of nitrifying bacteria” that convert goldfish manure into fertilizer.
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