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Junior Journalist Update from Eisenhower – By Rylee J.

The aquaponics tankSplish! Do you hear that sound? I believe it’s the noise of our aquaponics tank refilling. What’s aquaponics, you say? Let me explain. Aquaponics is collectively the combination of hydroponics and aquaculture. Essentially, it it the process of sharing resources between aquatic animals and plants at the same time.  This might be a hard concept to grasp, but at Eisenhower our Aquaponics Club thrives!

Aquaponics Club keeps their station in the upstairs hall. In the pictures along with this article are the tank and plants. One side is aquaponics where the lower tank is filled with goldfish. Pipes lead into an upper box that are filled with pebbles and gardening plots. These plots grow green beans and tomatoes. On the left side, hydroponics run. It’s the same idea but there are no little fish in the tank, just water. The hydroponics garden plots grow lettuce and cilantro.

The aquaponics plantsAll of the plants are kept under 24 hour LED lights. The system is set with a timer that runs twice a day. The timer brings water from the lower tanks to the upper gardens. One of the aspects of aquaponics is the relationship between the plants and fish. Both hosts thrive due to the share of nutrients. The only way this works is if both hosts are healthy. This all depends on maintenance. Each Aquaponics Club member starts with a job, like cleaning the filters or feeding the fish.

The science of aqua and hydroponics play an important role in the world today. Some engineers see it as a solution for a cleaner and more productive way to produce food for a lot of people in other parts of the world. Mrs. Harte, the supervisor for Aquaponics Club, tries to teach all the members how the systems work and apply real life situations. However, I’m just glad Eisenhower is definitely doing its part to prepare the future problem solvers of the world.

District 54’s Junior Journalists are seventh- and eighth-grade students from each of our junior high schools and Lincoln Prairie School who write monthly stories about their building for the District 54 website.