Technology + Aquaculture + Agriculture = Food Security

Windy Hill Middle School

7th Grade

Technology+ Team Project


Kristin enjoying the Fish Water.

The radishes grown in H2O and Fish Water.

Section 1: The Issue

Windy Hill Middle School has had a humanitarian relationship with the Turkey Feather Trading Post for the past two years. The school has participated in two food drives and is fully aware with the operation and the many needs of the Post.

The Turkey Feather Trading Post is a local mobile food bank serving disaster victims, hurricane refugees, veterans, and the the needy and the homeless of Lake County in Central Florida.

The Post is usually well supplied with dry goods, clothing, camping, equipment, hygiene and medical supplies. The problem they have is getting fresh vegetables and fresh fish. Often times their clients live on an exclusive diet of canned vegetables, canned fish and meat, and dry USDA goods of rice, corn meal, beans, and pasta. in order for their clients to stay healthy, they need to provide fresh vegetables and and an excellent source of fresh fish.

It was decided by the 7th Grade Computer Keyboarding Class of Windy Hill Middle to create a project that would provide the needed fresh produce and fresh fish.

Problem: Fresh produce and fresh fish for the needy of Lake County.

We discovered that the Post had an area of their property where they could develop an aquaculture/agriculture project.

A project like this would allow them to provide fresh vegetables and fresh fish on an annual basis to the needy at a very low operating cost.

Solution: Aquaculture and Agriculture working together.

Develop a symbiotic aquaculture/agriculture project that will raise fresh fish, use the run off to fertilize the garden, and use the garden produce to help feed the fish. The project should supply an adequate supply of fresh fish and fresh produce for the needy of Lake County at a very low operating cost. The project could be replicated for use by other Community Food Banks.


Neil with Noah our catfish.

Section 2: Research

The 7th Grade Computer Technology Team decided to create a project that would provide the needed fresh produce and fresh fish for the Post. Students were instructed to conduct their research on the Internet using their computers.

The theory was that nitrogen in the fresh fish water would encourage better growth than regular well water and reduce the cost of expensive fertilizers.

The students obtained two growing trays, soil, radish seeds, a fish tank, a grow lamp, and gathered some local fish . One growing tray was marked H2O and the other marked Fish Water. The H2O tray with radishes received tap water only while the fish water tray with radishes received only water from the fish tank.

Information on the Internet about aquaculture and agriculture supplies was abundant. Students found many sites on aquaculture that would send free advisors to make recommendation for a setup that would be tailor made to the needs of the Post.

Students also discovered search engines that linked to agricultural site like Organic Gardening, Aquaculture Magazine, Burbee Seeds, and the Almanac.

In addition, the students put together a tentative budget based on Internet research for the Post.


Section 3: Testing

After the team setup the fish tank and the growing trays they collected some fish and started the aquaculture experiment. They planted some radishes in the growing trays marked H2O and Fish and setup the growing trays.

They watered the radishes daily or as needed. Immediately the radishes in the fish tray began to outgrow the radishes in the H2O only tray. The students were excited and were confident that their project was perfect in every way.

The project turned out to be a great success and then provided an even greater lesson than had been anticipated. The fish tray our grew the H2O tray for the first four weeks by leaps and bounds. Then something quite unexpected happened. The radishes in the fish tray began to die. What happened? Did our theory go hay-wire?

our investigation indicated that the radishes burned out due to over fertilization. It seems that the fish tray received too much nitrogen for the the plants to survive. This is an important lesson learned in the safety and economy of the lab. We now know that in the actual garden situation we will have to fertilize only once a month for encouraged growth.

All was great fun. Students discovered the beauty of research as they were abet to fail and succeed in the safety and economy of the lab. What if they had tried this project in the field first and failed? The homeless might also be hungry.

The failure of the burned out radishes only continued to prove their theory that vegetables will grow better with the addition of the nitrogen of fish water, but not too much nitrogen.


Emilie, Katie, Kristin, and Neil

The Technology+ Team

Section 4: The Solution

The Windy Hill Middle team decided that the solution is to provide a symbiotic aquaculture/agriculture project to help feed the homeless in Lake County, Florida.

The challenge was to develop a symbiotic aquaculture/agriculture project for the Post that will raise fresh fish, use the run off to fertilize the garden, and use the garden produce to help feed the fish.

We now believe that this project is viable due to our research and hereby recommend it to the Post.

The radishes with H2O on the left and the radishes grown in fish water on the right.

Here are the radishes that were burned out from too much fish water.

A valuable lesson learned in the safety of the lab.

Phase I

The Garden

Phase I of the Turkey Feather Trading Post. The irrigated garden.

Food for fish. See the automatic irrigation system.


Phase II

The Aquaculture

Mr. Ward, three Tilapia caught in 20 minutes with a net, and Joseph the fishermen.

Tilapia are common in Lake Harris and grow to 7 pounds.

They market at $12.00 a pound.

Disney 1999 Teacherrifc Award

"Hunger Awareness and Human Rights

Curriculum in the Middle School"

By Mr. Ward

Special Judges Award

$2,500.00 gift and $500.00 to my School

The Hunger Awareness and Human Rights Curriculum was created to introduce students to the problems of hunger, homelessness and human rights in America. It is specially designed to solicit a humanitarian response at the middle school level to the hungry and homeless in the community.

To get a copy of the Hunger Awareness Curriculum Just E-mail me.

You too can do these exciting activities in your classroom.


The Post

Turkey Feather Trading Post

Bringing Dignity to Difficult Living

Director: Caroline Carter

Serving all of Central Florida's

Disaster Victims, Needy, Homeless, and Veterans.

For more information call 352-365-0808.

Turkey Feather Trading Post

Vote to Stop Hunger

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