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New Aquaponics Club at MHS

Maricopa High School has a new “academic focus” that began this school year, which is to be a “College and Career Preparatory Academy.” Recently MHS science teacher Lisa Kelk and a group of MHS students have been working with the Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Foundation on the implementation of a $16,000 Intel “Sustainability in Action Grant” for an Aquaponics Project. Other partners in this grant have included the City of Maricopa and the University of Arizona Ag Tech Department. According to Wikipedia, aquaponics is defined as “a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish, or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water).”

MHS students in the newly formed Aquaponics Club have built and lined three channels for growing  herbs and vegetables in the MHS greenhouse.  The pre-existing tanks, sumps and filters have been plumbed to move water through the entire system.  There are approximately 400 tilapia fish in the greenhouse.  Students will grow the tilapia until they are of a mature size.  Their waste will fertilize the nine varieties of vegetables and herbs that are growing. Students plan to sell the produce on campus this spring.

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44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy | Maricopa, AZ 85138 | (520) 568-5100

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