What’s Going On In The Aquaponic Lab

Garden Photo 1By Pamela Stern

Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman and Assistant Garden Educator, and Taliek Pinkney are excited about the new curriculum P.S. 346’s kindergarten through 5th grade students will be learning during the winter in the Spring Creek’s Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Aquaponic Lab.  The students will be using the hydroponics units, which will teach them about plant science, physics, entomology, social studies, nutrition, math and more.

“The students will learn specific lessons that support the grade science objectives in the Aquaponic Lab and are aligned with the New York State Science standards and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum,” said Roytman.

During the fourteen week winter session students will work on a hydroponic growing unit (growing plants in the water).  Students will build their very own ecosystems, and help construct and assemble vertical towers for a new greenhouse area.

Garden Photo 2All of the assignments are based around plants and urban agriculture. Some of the exercises include, but are not limited to: plant diversity, weather and seasons, and exploring ecosystems. “Having hands on experiences encourages and fosters critical thinking skills and a true understanding of ecosystems. As well as a very cool way to keep gardening and growing food all year long,” said Roytman.

The Afterschool Garden Science Club’s students are also  excited to participate in the Aquaponic Lab’s winter session. Afterschool Program Director, Jeremy Williams said, “The fifth grade students of the Afterschool Garden Science Club have been showing great enthusiasm and optimism in learning from the various projects conducted in the Club. Each week students eagerly look forward to their class sessions with Ms. Roytman.”

About the Aquaponic Garden Classroom: The Aquaponic Garden Classroom opened in March 2014, which was made possible with a $10,000 grant from the eBay Foundation that was given to the Spring Creek Recreational Fund (SCRF) to help expand its Urban Garden Classroom program. The Aquaponic Garden Classroom allows students to explore and learn about the highly symbiotic relationship between plants and aquatic life.