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Pasco County tech students collaborate on aquaponics lab

Pasco County tech aquaponics lab
Posted at 5:34 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 17:40:07-05

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — The new lab at Wendell Krinn Technical High School is about a lot more than just fish big tanks.

“It’s looking really good. I’ve never seen something like this in a high school," said student Gabe Coates.

Students at Pasco County’s first tech high school are collaborating on something called aquaponics.

“When you feed the fish, the water the fish live in are filled with nutrients. Those nutrients are put over to plant beds," said graduation enhancement coach David Martindale. "The plants suck the nutrients out. Clean the water for the fish. And the cycle continues,"

The hope is to help with finding ways to produce alternative food sources for Earth’s ever-growing population.

“It’s going to satisfy the needs of the people and also take care of our planet at the same time," said Martindale.

The whole school played a role in putting this together. Kids from the welding program helped construct the tanks, electrical students did the wiring, graphic design made the signs, and robotics is working on a robotic arm to feed the fish.

“It’s going to be autonomously grabbing the food and then dumping it in. It can adjust the quantity of food. And it will be able to work autonomously with no one here," said student Jackson Davis.

Even cyber-security students are playing a part. They set up cameras in the tanks and they aren’t done.

“We are planning on creating an app which allows anyone to remotely see data about the water," said Coates.

K-Tech officials said many students involved in these programs graduate with advanced certifications that can lead to in-demand, high-paying jobs and also great material for college applications and scholarships.