US (PA): Elementary school expands aquaponics program

Larry Sutton’s classroom at Frazier Elementary School is full of plants, aquatic life and reptiles — perhaps a little too full.

The third-grade science teacher annually leads lessons on water-based plant-growing techniques — hydroponics and aquaponics — that require a lot of space and a lot of attention. The school is using a grant to give Sutton and his students additional space to care for the various plants and animals.

Under construction in back of the schools is a 10x12-foot greenhouse expected to be completed before the holiday break that will house Sutton’s hydroponic and aquaponic setups. A second greenhouse will be built beside it with an anticipated spring opening.

A $5,000 grant from Chevron Corp. through the Intermediate Unit has made the expansion possible, said Sutton.

One greenhouse will house a pond stocked with coy. Above the pond will sit a floating plant bed and flow system. The other greenhouse will be used as a workshop. The greenhouses will be solar-powered and heated by propane, Sutton said.

Read more at the Herald-Standard (Eric Morris)

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