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Ms. Horne from Pleasant Hill CA is requesting Lab Equipment through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

On the Cutting Edge of Classroom Aquaculture

Help me give my students a special bandsaw to cut coral for classroom aquaculture.

  • $609 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Every day is Earth Day in my classroom. We have saltwater aquarium systems and in addition to five regular science classes, I teach two Aquatic Studies classes. Middle school is the perfect time to get students excited about real-world STEM issues, environmental stewardship, and lifelong learning through relevant hands-on activities.

As a magnet school, we serve students throughout the district, encompassing a wide range of home language, academic proficiency, and socioeconomic levels.

We are also a full-inclusion school, so I teach all students including those with special needs, the gifted, and English Language Learners. I teach a rigorous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum constructed on a foundation of hands-on learning and real-world application including career exploration. Aquarium study and animal care provide excellent applications of STEM concepts, art, financial literacy, teamwork, empathy, and responsibility! They also offer relevant college and career prep experiences to my students.

My Project

I teach an elective class that is expensive to run - Aquatic Studies. I would like to make our class financially self-sufficient as an economic model for students while demonstrating environmental stewardship. Local professionals and hobbyists have been advising me in improving my classroom aquarium setup and implementing best practices for a small aquaculture business. We have been learning about different methods to cut coral and grow it out. The tools we currently use are a scalpel, bone cutters, chisel, and a rotary tool.

The health and growth of coral fragments can be optimized by dividing them with a specially designed bandsaw like the requested Gryphon Aquasaw XL.

This model will enable us to cleanly cut many types of corals and rock on a safe and convenient 12" square platform. The bandsaw is customized to run saltwater for cooling and lubrication and has stainless steel components to resist corrosion. The diamond blade makes clean cuts and it is easy to maneuver corals around it with precision. Our mentors will continue to work with us to build proficiency at using the saw to divide different types of corals according to polyp shape and growth pattern. The cut frags will be mounted on bases and grown out in our tanks. The products will be sold or traded with hobbyists to increase our coral diversity at no cost or to pay for tank maintenance supplies, as school administration has approved. In the class, students learn about threats to coral reefs and how propagated coral decreases demand of wild collection and offers specimens proven to thrive in captive aquarium systems. This project provides a clear example of environmental stewardship and entrepreneurship to students.

Ms. Horne
Grades 6-8
More than a third of students from low‑income households

This project will reach 140 students.

73 donors have given to this project.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Gryphon XL AQUASAW DIAMOND BAND FRAG SAW • Bulk Reef Supply $439.99 1 $439.99

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


Sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


69 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


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Project Activity

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