By Kritika Kulshrestha
Cornell scientist Philson A.A. Warner demonstrated his under-construction state-of-the-art aquaponics greenhouse laboratory at the Cornell Learning Labs in New York City on Nov. 9, to a team from the Korea Digital Media High School.
South Korea-based Korea Digital Media High School is an independent private school specializing in information technology and consists of close to 700 students in grades 10 through 12.
“We wanted to see how different schools in the U.S. are using hydroponics and aquaponics technologies,” said school chairman Jonghyun Kim. Kim was accompanied by Director Alex Woo and six other school officials.
The Cornell Hydroponics, Aquaculture, & Aquaponics Learning Labs are located in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan at the Food & Finance High School, which runs an outstanding culinary program that emphasizes academic achievement and is solidifying its position each year with students excelling at their internships, winning competitions, and going on to succeed in college.
Warner’s Hydroponics Learning Model program is at the heart of the school’s culinary curriculum. With this curriculum Warner’s students not only achieve expertise in science but also learn about sustainable food production, and nutrition. The Food & Finance High School boasts of a hydroponics and aquaponics lab, an aquaculture lab, and a soon-to-be-ready rooftop aquaponics lab.
Aquaculture is fish farming, hydroponics is the growing of plants in a soil-less environment with nutrient-rich water, and aquaponics brings together aquaculture and hydroponics in a symbiotic and sustainable environment.
Warner explained the inner workings of his NDFT hydroponics and BHS aquaculture systems to the team from Korea.
“We want to jump-start the urban farming movement in South Korea,” said Korea Digital Media High School Director Woo. “Korea has a huge aging population and we want to get young students interested in farming practices using modern technologies.”