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Feeding FLOCO’s Future with Aquaponics

As populations grow and fewer young people enter into farming, the need for new and cost-effective solutions to maintain food supply becomes more urgent. Aquaponics is one such innovative solution that yields ample crops with more efficient use of land and water than conventional farming techniques.

A collaboration between North Florida’s largest aquaponics farm, Traders Hill Farm, and Nassau County School District is giving Wildlight students the opportunity to learn about aquaponics. This mutually beneficial partnership allows West Nassau High School students to apply what they learn by growing lettuce for the school cafeteria.

Working with aquaponics in science classes also helps prepare Nassau County students for careers in sustainable farming.

“With our biotechnology and aquaponics program at West Nassau, we have all phases of a model workforce development program,” Director of Career and Adult Education Brent Lemond told the Nassau County Economic Development Board. “There is an employer, Traders Hill Farm, assisting us to plan curriculum and ready to hire our graduates. We have a post-secondary partner in Florida State College at Jacksonville.”

We look forward to watching this program continue to grow (no pun intended)!


Tech Gets Schooled
As tablets take over for textbooks and Smart Boards seriously cut down on chalk dust, more and more research is being done on the impact of technology in the classroom. And – good news! – the results are overwhelmingly positive.

Technology lets student learn at their own pace.
One of the greatest struggles teachers face is balancing the learning needs and speeds of an entire classroom of students. Almost all of today’s teaching apps allow for individualized instruction, letting students work at their own pace. This fights boredom in faster learners and frees up the teacher to work one-on-one with students who might need a little extra instruction.

Students are more enthusiastic about learning when technology is involved.
If you’ve ever seen a 3-year-old (or a teenager, or anyone in between!) with an iPad, you know a thing or two about what gets kids excited. Harnessing that excitement and bringing it into the classroom can make lessons more fun – and more likely to stick. Researchers have found that students and teachers alike tend to be more engaged and motivated when technology is an integral part of a lesson.

Early access to technology prepares student for the future.
The role that technology plays in our students’ daily lives is huge – but it’s nothing compared to the role it’ll play when they enter the workforce. Beyond basic computer literacy, students with access to technology learn to adapt quickly and solve problems in a distinctly 21st-century way. Early introductions to technology like 3D printers and robotics lab might even spark a talent that would have otherwise been left untapped!

Check out this video to see how Nassau County Public Schools are keeping their students up on the latest technology.