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Mr. Potter from Laytonville CA is requesting Supplies through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Waste Free Farms of the Future - Phase II Completion

My students need test equipment and growing media to complete our aquaponics project.

  • $890 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

My Students in the Agriculture Biology class are responsible for designing and monitoring a biointensive school garden. Produce from the garden is used by students in the Culinary Arts program to create healthy foods. Students learn many biology concept through this hands-on experience.

Our high school, student population 115, is located in rural northern California.

Demographics include 20% Native American, 12% Hispanic, with the remaining meaning primarily Caucasian. 74% of the students come from low socioeconomic disadvantaged backgrounds. Many come from single family homes with limited resources. The closest college and public library are 30 miles away. Despite challenging factors the students graduate high school successfully and attend many prestigious colleges and trade schools. The high school has a strong history of implementing Project Based Learning. Students have shared that they learn best when the courses are relevant, meaningful and have a hands-on component. The Aquaponics system will provide an excellent venue for students to be involved with the design and implementation of a project that will enhance their skills and provide a relevant way to engage in real life problem solving.

My Project

Students will design, build and maintain a hydroponic system to grow lettuce and greens for the school using the nutrients provided by a large fish tank. The produce and fish produced by the system will be used by the Culinary Arts class and school lunch program. Water from a 300 gallon fish tank will circulate through 3 hydroponic growing trays and a series of filters to convert ammonia from the fish waste to nitrate for the plants. The filters will separate the solids from the dissolved wastes and treat the dissolved wastes through biofiltration by microorganisms. Students will monitor dissolved oxygen, pH, ammonia/nitrate levels, ion concentrations and temp to optimize conditions for maximum growth of fish and plants. They will maintain a salad bar throughout the year with the greens and raise fish to full maturity to be harvested in the spring.

This project will not only improve the quality of food for students at our school, but will serve as a model for sustainable waste- free food production.

The aquaponics system will be a resource for students to conduct research and experimentation on optimizing conditions for maximum yield. They will have real, meaningful experiences with aquaculture, nutrient cycling, plant physiology, water chemistry and biointensive, sustainable agriculture.

Read More
Mr. Potter
Grades 9-12
More than half of students from low‑income households

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1 donor1 donor has given to this project.

This project will reach 115 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
OHAUS Dissolved Oxygen Portable Meter • Carolina Biological Supply Company $552.55 1 $552.55
Carolina pH Meter Calibration and Maintenance Set • Carolina Biological Supply Company $32.35 1 $32.35
Zero Oxygen Solution, 500 mL • Carolina Biological Supply Company $16.65 1 $16.65

Materials cost


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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


1 Donor


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Project Activity

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