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US (OK): TIES collaborates with STEM Ecosystem partners in classroom aquaponics projects

Thanks to a grant provided by USDA Professional Development for Secondary School Teachers and Education Professionals (PD-STEP), TIES is collaborating with STEM Learning EcosystemsSM partners to bring aquaponics-based STEM learning to Tulsa and Baltimore City public schools.

The USDA PD-STEP grant provides immersive learning experiences for K-16 teachers and educational professionals to create and replicate best practices to improve student success outcomes within the food, agricultural, natural resources and human sciences. With the funding, TIES and its partners will develop small-scale classroom aquaponics systems, curriculum and teacher professional development programs that aid students in creative problem solving, developing 21st-century skills and demonstrating STEM competencies.

In Tulsa, TIES will partner with Symbiotic Aquaponic, Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance, Outdoor Classroom at Woodward Park, and area schools with the goal of making students "STEM-ready"— providing them with knowledge to pursue career paths in science, technology, engineering and math after graduation.

"This program holds amazing promise for providing students with the types of hands-on learning in STEM that will allow them to acquire valuable skills and understand the important role that they play in solving some of the challenges of our world," said Jan Morrison, founder and managing partner of TIES. "By connecting this work to the vast network of the 84 ecosystems that make up the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, we have a tremendous opportunity to scale this work throughout the nation and the world."

After piloting the program in Tulsa, TIES will introduce the program in Baltimore with partners Baltimore City Public Schools, Great Kids Farm and the Maryland Out of School Time Network, allowing students to collaborate on research across the nation. 

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