Friday, August 7, 2015

Peachtree Charter Middle School Announces Eco-Innovation STEM Project

Students of DeKalb County’s Peachtree Charter Middle School (PCMS) will return to classrooms this August ready to directly impact world hunger. Combining STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) with creativity, resourcefulness, and a revolutionary sustainable farming technique (aquaponics), students will design the nation’s first-ever solar powered living food lab.

Through the use of aquaponics – the combination of hydroponics and aquaculture – PCMS students will raise fish and vegetables together in a closed-loop environment that is a selfcontained ecosystem. Students will distribute food grown and harvested within this system to local families via the Community Assistance Center (CAC).

“The DeKalb County School District continues to be the statewide leader in STEM certification,” said Superintendent Dr. R. Stephen Green. “STEM offers the academic rigor and relevancy I expect from all our schools and this initiative will allow students to explore relationships with other students across the nation and globally.”

Teachers and students alike are thrilled by this opportunity. PCMS teachers, in collaboration with Georgia-based HATponics, will use the Aquaponics model as the core of an integrated STEM engineering project that includes standards-based instruction across all subject areas.  This instruction will start on the first day of school when PCMS sixth graders begin to create a syphon system that will be used within the model.

This innovative STEM initiative, the resulting food lab, and the organic fish and vegetables produced within it, will serve as far more than an instructional tool; the lab, the food – and the PCMS students who create it – will positively impact both their community and our world.

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