Next Steps For Sandys Middle School Aquafarm

July 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the faculty of Sandys Middle School are working to take their Aquaculture Programme to new levels.

A spokesperson said, “The faculty of Sandys Middle School have used the down time during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic to put the focus on ‘an idea whose time has come,’ their little publicized Aquaculture Programme that now has the west end community buzzing with excitement.

“News of the revival of the school’s STEM project comes as Bermudians absorb the realities of the pandemic and as a new generation ponders whether the time has come to grow and produce more of our food supplies here on the island.

“School Board Chairperson Valerie Dill brimmed with pride this week, along with Acting Principal Kalley Baxter-Williams, STEM Coordinator Cesare Filice, and Design & Technology Teacher Christopher Naylor, in outlining next steps in an award-winning STEM project that was conceived and realized back in 2013. The Aquafarm project has found a new ‘raison d’etre’ in the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sandys Middle School Aquafarm Bermuda July 2020

“Mrs. Dill and the Board recalled how in 2013, the Board at that time sought to move into high gear with its STEM Programme and partnered with Washington Academy in Maine. It all began with a fact-finding trip to Maine by Board member Joseph Robinson, science teacher Filice, D & T teacher Naylor, and school principal at that time, Dr. Tim Jackson.

“Out of that trip, the Board initiated a Boat Building Programme and an Aquaculture Programme, thereby giving life to Bermuda’s first Middle School STEM Programme.

“Fast forward to 2015 when the Government of the day announced what was termed ‘significant milestones’ along the journey toward establishing commercial aquaculture and fish farming as a dynamic new industry sector in Bermuda. They hailed as progressive the fact that Sandys Middle School had created a facility for production of tilapia, and the training of students in the technology of fish farming.

“The leaders also pointed to the successful breeding of tilapia broodstock to produce the first tilapia fry for rearing and consumption in the local marketplace.

“With the spotlight on this precedent-setting aquafarming project, the school – the first to receive Bermuda’s Commercial Aquaculture License – is aiming to keep Bermuda on track for sustainable food stocks and in so doing they will expose students to careers in aquafarming and aquaponics.

“Globally, farming reduces the pressure on wild caught species, and here at home it has the potential, along with other local supplies, to reduce Bermuda’s dependence on other countries for fresh produce.

“The school has produced a curriculum for M1, M2, and M3 students based on their Cambridge International Standards. Unfortunately, while plants are presently growing in water and media beds, the students are not present due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As the summer holidays draw nearer, the aquafarm will again be short-handed. Interested mature potential farmers can seek a volunteer position by contacting the school.”

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Category: All, Environment, News

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