Over the past few years, the development of a Garden Science program at our school has proved to be a fantastic educational tool. The program has allowed students, in an inner city environment, hands-on learning opportunities to ignite that spark of interest to become future scientists.
Our school is very diverse, truly representative of the ethnic mix that is Los Angeles.
While the majority of our students are African American and Latino, several of our students are white, Indian, and from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds, with fifteen languages represented. Our school is a Title 1, high poverty school in Southern California with over 60% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch. Our wonderful children are enthusiastic, energetic, creative and passionate for learning. We have great parental support, yet need assistance in order to obtain materials to enrich student learning.
Our science program takes a systems approach - an educational philosophy that helps our students understand the complexity of the world around them and encourages them to think in terms of relationships, connectedness, and context.
To enhance their learning experience, I am requesting a significant addition for our Garden Science program -an Aquaponics system. Aquaponics combines hydroponics with aquaculture, and provides a model for urban agriculture as a means to grow healthy and natural foods in an urban environment. The fish provide nutrients for plants in the form of their own excrement. The water in the fish tank is continuously pumped into a grow bed where the plants are located. The roots of plants act as a filtration system to clean the water. The clean water is then sent back into the fish tank.
The art system I am requesting will be a great addition to our Garden Science program, and will involve all students at our school.
Art, although simple in concept, is a state-of-the-art green technology that provides a model for efficient and sustainable agriculture in an urban environment as well as in developing countries. Students will be able to study how fish and plants grow as well as to design and perform experiments to investigate and research a myriad of inquiries.
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