Children are naturally inquisitive and once their interest is sparked, they are sponges for information. By questioning our students and engaging them in the process of learning we are able to instil lifelong learning in them. Urban Green Farms is working with several schools, across several year levels, to include aquaponics in the school curriculum.
One of the starting questions for children can be ‘where is the food you eat grown?’. Inevitably the answer will be in the garden, or in the soil. This opens up a range of discussions about alternate farming methods, sustainability and the nutritional value in foods. These discussions are important, but for children to thrive and really develop a deep understanding of the issues we face, learning needs to take a step further.
As children all learn in different ways, and increasing children are learning kinetically (through play, touch, motion) this discussion is importantly followed up with an aquaponic school project, which is exactly what Urban Green Farms provides solutions for with their aquaponic systems.
Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (farming of aquatic organisms, fish) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil, in water). Setting up a system in a classroom is a simple way to provide students with hands on learning. An aquaponic for schools system involves, at a basic level, a set up for fish to thrive and a bed for plant growth. The children are involved in the set up, the maintenance and learning along the way. The combination of fish health, water maintenance and plant growth stimulates learners to think about big picture goals, the impact of small changes on overall outcomes and their place in our environment.
Working together schools and Urban Green Farms can pave the way for children to passionately learn about how their food is grown and what alternatives are available to help create a sustainable future.