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Owego Students Learning Agriculture Skills in Aquaponics Class Through STEAM Program

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OWEGO, NY -

The Owego Apalachin School District has introduced a brand new program to middle school and high school students.

The STEAM program stands for science, technology, engineering, agriculture, arts, and math, and gives students a hands-on learning experience.

One specific class is teaching students about Aquaponics, and is a part of the district’s agriculture in the classroom program.

Superintendent Cory Green spoke about why he thinks the class is important.

It's an important process for students to understand what agriculture is all about. We're looking to teach them about the steam part of agriculture as well so they have a full comprehensive knowledge of what careers are in that field.

Aquaponics combines the idea of hydroponics and aquaculture.

Students get to raise fish in large tanks inside of their classroom, and the fish create nutrients that benefit the plants. The plants then produce clean water for the fish tanks.

Chris Mahon is the school’s sixth grade science teacher who teaches Aquaponics to his students.

They get to test the tanks every day, test the pH and temperature levels, dissolved oxygen… They get a whole different curriculum and it's all hands on so they really enjoy that.

Senator Fred Akshar stopped by the middle school Monday morning to check out the program.

I think it's a big success. The kids are excited they are very engaged. They are telling me how to grow lettuce without dirt soil and sand! I continue to be inspired just by being afforded an opportunity to provide these opportunities to our young people so they can be successful.

The district plans to implement the STEAM program in the elementary school in the future.