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APES + Suburban Agriculture Video

Here at Westmont, our AP Environmental Students
and Suburban Ag Collaborators have been working hard this past school year on our outdoor
raised bed garden, our bee hive, and our new aquaponics system and much more. In this video, we’ll be exploring the types
of agriculture we have here at WHS that you may not have known as well a the solutions
to larger problems we’ve discovered through the creation of our systems. But first, we must ask our students one very
important question. What is the first thing that comes to mind
when you think about our earth? I’d have to say a lot of pollution and violence. When it comes to the earth, probably like
same as pollution but over population. I think of climate change. Nature. Yeah, I was going to say like plants and green
stuff and plants. It’s falling apart (laugh). I think of all the little animals I could
save. I think of the globe and how it’s happy and
green and we should take care of it. I want to be the king of the universe; I want
to own the world; everyone follow me. I am the captain. Ha ha ha HA! When I think about the earth I think about
oceans, water, and oxygen. I think of plants and bees. Bees are very important for our nature and
earth because they help us grow food and plants and everything. Right now they’re declining because we have
been using more and more of pesticides. That’s why we have couple thousand bees at
our high school so we can save them and the community and get their healthy honey. This is industrial agriculture and we got
one problem: it’s mono culture. Now mono culture is a problem because it lacks
diversity and lacking diversity is a problem due to the high usage of pesticides. In fact it’s almost an over usage it also
requires a lot of water because the crops will use it and our big mono culture all use
tons and tons of water. It takes a lot of space too. But we have alternatives! We have hydroponics, aquaponics, and inter
cropping too! Alright! Is everybody out? Nope, although they are trying to go into
the net. They want the shelter. Hey guys, can you tell me what you know about
industrial agriculture? Industrial Agriculture, well I know about
Monsanto and I would say that some of Monsanto’s practices in regards in how they sell seeds
because very hard for small, family owned farmers to stay competitive when they have
to keep buying seeds year after year after year because of the genetic engineering that
Monsanto does. It also uses a TON of water which is becoming
quite the problem if you keep your eye on climate change and some of the droughts that
are going on world wide. And frankly, they don’t care a great deal
about runoff, there’s mono cultures where is not enough diversity to withstand some
sort of disaster which is just a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. This is a raised bed. We have sixteen beds here at Westmont and
we started at eight. Our first year we had five hundred pounds
of produce harvested and now we’re up to nine hundred. This one here is actually for the junior high
because they’re starting their own raised bed garden. So what we’re going to do here is… You guys are going to match up the numbers
and the colors. The number two goes on the bottom and the
number two plank goes on top. And so as we can see here on fancy little
blueprint/diagram here… We must have safety goggles at all times–safety
is definitely important. Safety glasses–what’s up Ben? Good pressure. So, you were part of building this and you
will forever be remembered for that. Now, tell me anything you know about hydroponics. I don’t know what that is. I do not know anything about hydroponics. It’s water that grows things inside. Hydroponics is the fastest growing sector
of agriculture with arable land only comprising only 3% of the earth’s surface. As the population keeps growing we’re going
to have to start growing up. Now, hydroponics is nothing new here at Westmont
High School with a drip recovery system that uses no pesticides or any herbicides, it is
environmentally friendly and safe. Since starting in 2014, hydroponics has been
here at Westmont High School has been able to support the People’s Resource Center of
Westmont and the Westmont High School cafeteria with local produce grown environmentally friendly. Each week we measure the pH of the water and
the electrical conductivity of the water to see how many nutrients are in our water system. Now, can you tell me anything you known about
aquaponics? a water animal? water. FISH. Octopus. Water. Fish… and plants! When you think of aquaponics you might just
think of water but there’s something else involved: FISH! And we feed the fish which makes them produce
waste. And bacteria converts the waste into nutrients
for the plants. This is out aquaponics system: it is a combination
of aquaculture and hydroponics. It uses fish to produce plants and offers
improvements over soil based farming such as no contamination or GMO’s. So how the system works is that the fish are
producing waste and the bacteria is converting it into nitrogen and the nitrogen is going
up into the plants so they can grow. The plants are then cleaning the water. We’ve had this system running for about a
week and we already have sprouts like this. Some of the benefits of aquaponics include:
we are growing plants and we are taking care of fish so there are two responsibilities
here, it uses 1/10 of water compared to soil based farming, it has low energy consumption,
it has faster growth rates and yields, it has no weeding or tilling, there’s no soil
born diseases, it actually fertilizes plants, there’s no pesticides or chemicals, the fish
are a very good source of protein, and there’s no waste water produced. Overall, this system is very beneficial and
is a possibility to grow agriculture in the future. Earth science is important for plants and
their survival because this is where you figure out the different nutrients that are in different
types of soils and the ones that work best for each plant. Chemistry and Engineering are important especially
for our students here at Westmont High School because the future of the world is dependent
on chemistry. The products and things that our students
are going to be utilizing are yet to be engineered and designed or created. Through a sound knowledge of chemistry and
an engineering mindset, our students are going to grow through our four year science program
to understand and be influencers and creators in this new world we are entering into now. Teja stop!! No, I’m hungry! I can’t help but tell you these… We hope you enjoyed our video! Science and Math go hand in hand and they
are really fun subjects. We strongly support taking four years of science
and math in your high school career. It might be challenging but it helps you prepare
for college. It also helps you become solid problem solvers. Take AP Classes! It will help you and make Mr. Baldermann happy
and he has made a positive impact on our Westmont High School. Also be a part of suburban Ag! We want to thank Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Finlayson,
Mrs. Erazmus, Mrs. Piekarczyk, and Mrs. Hootman for making this such a great science department! Make sure to like, comment, and subscribe! Thanks for watching! Smash that like button. Are you ready? You tell them. Yep, Okay go! Teja save some for me! (laughs) no! ahah! Can I take one out? I’m kinda hungry. Teja stop teja you’re going to hurt the fish! The thing is like say circle to yourself over
and over… Oh what?! That’s not how that works…

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