West Shore School District Unveils Aquaponics Lab powered by INTAG
In addition to the usual excitement on the first day of school, students in the West Shore School District’s day also included the reveal of a brand-new learning environment – an Aquaponics Lab at Cedar Cliff High School. INTAG Systems partnered with the school district over the summer to create this new hands-on learning environment that will create opportunities for K-12 students and adult learners served by the district.
According to Todd Stoltz, West Shore School District Superintendent, “The Aquaponics Lab is a learning hub designed to provide students from all 14 of our schools, as well as the community, with relevant Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) learning experiences. Elements of aquaponics can be found in each of our schools.”
Funding for the lab was made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry for approximately $250,000 which the District received in collaboration with the South Central Workforce Investment Board. The lab features newer forms of farming which allow students to experiment with plant propagation, food production, aquaculture technical skills, and hydroponic plant growth.
“The investment made by these organizations in our students’ future extends beyond aquaculture and hydroponics. We now have a variety of different opportunities available not only to those students interested in a career in science, but other career paths as well by providing leadership opportunities for students in the areas of communications, education, technology, marketing, and finance,” Stoltz added.
The custom design, created and installed by INTAG Systems, repurposed a space previously used as a planetarium and most recently a media area in the science wing of Cedar Cliff High School. Designed “in the round”, the system is fed by a waste stream derived from Koi fish housed in a circular tank in the center of the room. Three concentric rings of media beds, float beds, and an NFT array complete the major components.
“This was an extremely fun and rewarding project and the reaction of the students during the first week of classes made it even better,” said Henry Nickerson, INTAG Co-Founder and VP of Delivery. He added, “West Shore was a pleasure to work with throughout the design and installation. The enthusiasm of the school district for creating such a memorable and unique learning environment for their students is why we make education projects a priority.”
Crostwater Distilled Spirits in Lewisberry, PA has announced a partnership with the West Shore School District. The distillery will feature produce grown by the students on their menu.