Aquaponics Unit Opening Day

Term 1 Week 5 2015

Room 3 students have been studying New Zealand bird life. Students worked with Mrs Ellis and these are a small example of the beautiful art work students presented.


Colour sketches By Tariana and Pencil sketches by Jack

Friday May 1, 2015 Aquaponics Unit Opening Day

We have spent three and a half years planning, learning, fundraising and building our unit and it’s with amazing pride we officially open it today. The many hours spent navigating this modern enviro friendly style of growing produce is well worth the anguish, tears and laughs we have all shared. Today we are sharing our achievements with all those who have shown  enormous faith  in our ‘crazy’ ideas. Our students now, and in the future, have a sustainable project which is included in our curriculum and has many learning aspects to it.

The day began with a Powhiri held in the school hall. We then moved onto the field below the Unit where speeches were given by Mrs Farquhar, Mrs Jollands, Mrs Sullivan (BOT) and Amanda Jones (Waikato Enviroschools Facilitator, Parent, hard worker). The ribbon was cut, local Kamatua performed a blessing followed by morning tea and tours of the Unit.

Some of our past student enviro group members (now Years 7/8 at Intermediate) attended the opening. These students were heavily involved in the planning/model making stages as well as the original presentations to our Management and Board of Trustees.


Thank you to Renae and Penny for finishing our display board, showing a snapshot of the journey we have been on


Ms Fitzsimmons and Amanda cut the cake.





Rosanne Jollands, Contact Energy/TDC Councillor and Paula Farquhar (Principal) cut the ribbon


Toia Harris (parent) made our cake.


Over the holiday break our invites to the opening of the Aquaponics Unit were sent out. Shalee kindly designed it for us.


These beautiful fish adorn the walls of our workrooms.


Seat and Planters


Dry garden beds have been made at the entrance to the growing tunnel. JR’s Landscaping Supplies kindly donated the river rocks to us and John with with students to complete the beds. We have a variety of herbs growing in the pots.


Old recycled cable reels have been transformed into useful outdoor gardens with a seat to relax on.



Planning and tracking books have been set up to record testing and planting progress.

Unit ‘B’  - we have decided to try a new set-up with an in-line system. This unit will use scoria for the growing medium. Scoria is a local volcanic rock and has been donated by Taupo Scoria Limited. 


‘B’ Unit finished and planted


The beds are filled with the scoria


We washed the scoria to remove excess dust and ‘red’ colouring it originally releases


The scoria is sifted to remove any ‘under-sized’ pieces with may block the system


The beds are wrapped and Corey starts the plumbing


The auto siphons have been made


The Unit tanks are put into position


Unit ‘A’ is now fully cycled, with the fish supplying the nutrients for the plants to grow.


We started making the garden for the crosses - using old newspaper as weed-matting and finishing with bark chip.


This is the worms new home


Worms previous home

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