The Erdiston Teachers’ Training College is on its way to becoming a green campus. After three months of construction, the institution officially opened its aquaponics farm to the staff and students.
The farm which is being facilitated by the school’s Climate-Smart Aquaponics for a Sustainable Future project, attempts to integrate the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) into the primary school science classrooms. The project was planned by a group of third-year University of the West Indies, Bachelors in Education students.
“There are some deficiencies as it relates to the application of STEM [in the schools]. This Climate-Smart Aquaponics initiative bridges the gap. It allows persons to have a sense of how to go about teaching STEM, particularly at the primary level in Barbados,” said aquaponics consultant and project facilitator Rozanne Walrond.
The College science lecturer revealed the facility accommodates 460 plants and small-scale fish farming. It will be chiefly utilised by Erdiston Teachers’ Training College students but will also be open to primary and secondary school students for use. Walrond insists that exposure to aquaponics from an early age would educate students on the importance of sustainable and renewable energies.
“One of the benefits of aquaponics is that… where there is a deficiency in arable land and you have a system of this nature, the opportunities are endless in how much you can actually reap,” she continued.
Walrond disclosed that the opening of the aquaponics farm was the first phase of the college’s plan to become fully sustainable and promote renewable energy. The facility will be using recycled water and will be sustained by solar energy, thanks to the support of Williams Solar which has donated photovoltaic panels.
“We want to become iconic in terms of having this college be promoted as a smart and sustainable institution,” commented Walrond.
“We have started a number of other things. As you see around the college there is recycling … we have reduced paper usage tremendously. The aim is to have Erdiston Teachers’ Training College as one of the best green colleges in the Caribbean region,” she added. (KK)