Small hydroponic and aquaponic systems are perfect for use in classrooms, but when it comes to teaching kids what offers both them and the Earth healthier options, aquaponics wins hands down. In terms of easy sustainability, one system can provide them with fruit, vegetable, and protein production. But it also teaches children two methods for growing food; aquaculture and hydroponics.
The Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s new Seafood in Schools program launches in 11 US school systems this fall. The non-profit will provide teachers with a grant and supplies to bring tabletop aquaponics systems into the classroom to start educating youngsters seafood health benefits, seafood sustainability, and the basics of growing fish and plants in this symbiotic relationship.
Fish, being one of the healthiest of all sources for daily protein and low in fat, is extremely beneficial to growing kids. Fish and shellfish supply essential nutrients for building strong muscles and bones and immunity systems, healthy heart and brain development, and improving memory. All things that make learning about aquaponics and growing your own food an important part of education from elementary grades through high school. It will change how children perceive the food they eat, where food comes from, and how their involvement can change the human impact on the environment.
The new aquaponics program pilot will enrich American kids’ education in Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Kanawha County (WV), Memphis (TN), Oklahoma City (OK), and Fairfax (VA), to name but a few. The 5-session curriculum comes from the Aquaponic Source and the aquaponic systems are from AquaSprouts, who are always available to help teachers involved in the program should they need assistance.
With fish and seafood becoming highly sought after in developed countries in recent years as people pay more attention to eating healthy, and the longstanding reliance on it for staple food in the third world, the more people who understand and are inspired by aquaponics and sustainable aquaculture, the better. Between the overfished oceans and rivers and rampant issues with synthetic toxins and other pollutants in our waters, it offers a solution to providing a reliable supply for today’s global population. But feeding humanity in the future calls for a lot more people entering the aquaponics, indoor aquaculture, and indoor farming industries. It’s classes like these that can power the food supply of tomorrow.
Since an aquaponic system works well in any climate, adjusts for limited space availability, and is applicable even in impoverished areas of the planet – these kids can take this knowledge anywhere and help build a sustainable, healthy food supply. An excellent endeavor on the part of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership. The US non-profit exists to address the nation’s health issues with programs that build better awareness of the benefits of seafood and fish. Eating one or the other just 2 meals a week can promote better health!
More Info & Sources:
- Seafood in Schools: from Classroom to Cafeteria (source)
- Fuel for Successful Learning
- Getting Kids to Like Seafood
Images courtesy of Aquasprouts – already active in helping kids learn to grow fish and veg.