Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA), in partnership with Harrisburg University, this week is hosting a new aquaponics camp at CCAs aquaponics facility, AgWorks at CCA, for students entering grades 7-12. This camp provides students with hands-on exp伊利nce in controlled-environment agriculture, crop and business planning, water testing, engineering and fluid dynamics, data analysis, STEM, food sciences, and food and laboratory safety.AgWorks at CCA, a living, learning laboratory at CCA's Capital Campus in Harrisburg, is the largest public educational aquaponics facility in the country.What were looking to do during camp is to give students hands-on skills that are applicable to both traditional agriculture and controlled-environment agriculture, said Samantha Johnson, CCAs director of aquaponic programs. We want our students to have the knowledge base for a very emergent field.As a K-12 public cyber charter school serving more than 9,500 Pennsylvania students, CCA encourages students to pursue their individual interests by providing a personalized, flexible education. For those interested in 职业生涯 in aquaponics, CCA is committed to making sure all students have the ability to learn from AgWorks at CCA.This weeks camp reflects that commitment, as students from CCA and the surrounding communities are exploring the many facets of controlled environment agriculture.We've been learning all about the different kinds of aquaponics, said Alexis Boehmer, a camp participant and eighth-毕业e student at CCA. We learned about how different lights work, how water will help the different plants grow. I dont really have a favorite part yet because its all been fun!Aquaponics is a method of growing plants hydroponically using wastewater from aquaculture. AgWorks at CCA uses wastewater from koi and tilapia to grow fresh produce, such as lettuce, trees, microgreens and more inside the 6,100-square-foot facility.Rachel Fogle, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Harrisburg University, is part of the joint team from CCA and the university operating the aquaponics camp.Aquaponics is a much more efficient growing method because it uses less water, Fogle said. Its a platform that can be used in food deserts because it can be done on a very small scale, such as a single cart, or it can be as large and as vast as [the AgWorks at CCA] facility.The idea for this weeks camp began when CCA and Harrisburg University discovered a shared interest in aquaponics education. Both institutions have facilities in Harrisburg, and Harrisburg University is installing aquaponic technology. A lot of STEM fields are promoted at Harrisburg University, Johnson said. We felt that partnership is very important for students who want to explore those interests.The commitment to partnership is reflected in the team of CCA staff, Harrisburg University professors and students overseeing the aquaponics camp.Steven Berry, who studies environmental science and sustainability at Harrisburg University, is serving as a teaching assistant at the aquaponic camp.I just love helping out, he said. The students are all so enthusiastic about the work were doing. Camps like this give them opp要么tunities I wish I had when I was their age.