“This is a problem that affects everyone, and we want them to own it”
In Kathy Roberts’ AP environmental science classroom at Palm Beach Gardens High School, a section of the room is taken up by a table-sized contraption. On top, a piece of Styrofoam with vegetable plants embedded in it floats on a layer of water. Underneath, plastic buckets hold fish and tubing connects the two layers. The aquaponics system—a mixture of aquaculture and hydroponics—is a way to help students understand the nitrogen cycle, something already in the teacher’s lesson plan. But it’s also a part of something much more important: tasking high school students with the big job of figuring out how to feed a growing planet.
The experiment is a cog in a very complex machine called Project Feed 1010.