At the start of the 2017-2018 school year, students from Santa Rita School in Tucson, Arizona were welcomed back to school with an exciting new program – AquaGrove. Led by their Agriculture teacher and Department Chair, Joshua Ruddick, they began the year with safety training and preparation for assembling and maintaining their first AquaGrove unit.
To kick off their program and provide some background on AquaGrove’s design and technology, Power Panel provided an informative presentation to the Juniors and Seniors (16-18 years old) of Santa Rita High School last week. In attendance was the Co-founder and President of Power Panel, Garth Schultz (via Skype) and Steve Brossart from Power Panel’s business development team. Mr. Schultz provided a Skype-guided tour of the AquaGrove unit from the Detroit laboratory and offered insight on growing methods and the system’s design from the inventor’s perspective; Mr. Brossart personally met with students to provide information on how they play an important role in the future of agriculture and sustainable development.
In response to the presentation, Mr. Ruddick expressed his gratitude for the personal interaction the AquaGrove team had with his class. The students were empowered to lead this new and exciting program. Mr. Ruddick stated: “They (the students) are excited about the prospect of building the unit and taking part in reporting on performance.”
In the coming months, Santa Rita High School students will be embarking on their adventure with AquaGrove and will be developing a website to share their progress. From tracking the health of aquatic life to harvesting a variety of leafy greens, students will be responsible for maintaining an overall balance in the AquaGrove ecosystem. Through daily logs, measurements, reports, journaling and photography, students of Santa Rita High School will be gaining valuable hands-on experience in aquaponics while paving the way for other growers and schools in the future.