From Milwaukee Renaissance

SweetWaterOrganicsSweetWaterFoundation: 5In520By20

This first draft with Dr. N. Correll, Mukherjee, and Godsil contributing.

America and India, 5 in 5, 20 by 20 Partnerships

Start-up draft by Correll and Godsil

America lacks sufficient STEM,, technology, engineering, and
math education. Our citizens lacking these skills we be unable to meet the
requirements of the 21st century job market (excellent article “Making it in
America” in the Atlantic (
STEM outreach efforts to date have tended to capture only those people who
are already interested. Robotics and Lego mindstorms are perceived as nerdy and boring.

Aquaponics is a powerful system that can draw people to STEM who are not
interested in technology Aquaponics is an eco system approach to food production that combines hydroponics, growing plants in nutrient rich water, with aquaculture, fish farming. Fish “waste” is transformed by billions of micro-organisms into nitrate “food for the plants”: a symbiotic system, reflective of nature’s way.

Our STEM programs can be greatly advanced with a net enhanced, hands-on
aquaponics systems in our schools and faith communities. Digital training
and credentialing in aquaponics and other fields of knowledge will comprise an
increasing piece of our self- educating, life long learning investments. Knowledge and credentialing that costs much time, but not much money. Such self-educating “aquaponic apprentices”can get productive by the vocational aspects of putting the system together and get excited by a grand challenge: feeding the world. They can then get challenged to increase yield and are free to chose which avenue to pursue: chemistry, biology, electronics, computer science, and potentially switch to another one later.

Our citizen’s ecological awareness, self-reliance, community building and career possibilities will be advanced with the $100 investment in an aquaponics miniature desk top model and free use of Sweet Water AQUAPON digital training, launched with the help of a $175,000 MacArthur Mozilla award. Concern with food security, global warming, and the increasing importance of science and math training have sparked a grand alliance for both aquaponics, vertical farming, and digital education. Besides open source global communities of practice involving thousands of experimenters from every continent, e.g. Aquaponics Gardening, major global actors are giving attention and start-up resources for aquaponics experiments, including: the UN Global Compact City program, the State Department, NASA and NSF, IBM, scores of universities, and the sustainability committees of many faith communities. Harvard, MIT, and Stanford’s commitments to democratizing access to the best and brightest of educators supports this vision.

Aquaponics experiment will also provide the social space for racial healing and neighborhood stabalization in our great American cities. A recent NSF workshop on vertical farming suggests that the stars are aligning in a way advancing the pragmatic utopian vision of 5% of our schools with a digital aquaponics training/credentialing capacity in 5 years, 20% by 2010. Applied science skills and cognitions regarding water, plants, fish, bacteria, mechanical and engineering issues, e.g. pumps, lighting, and structures, are acquired with delight. People love to work with nature while achieving the capacity to grow some tasty, healthy food on their own and credentialing for an emerging 21st century industry.

For America: 5% in 5, 20% by 20!

It is quite likely that this quest can enlist partners beyond our borders. The UN Global Compact City program has great hopes for aquaponics farming as an adaptive response to food security and global warming challenges. Aquaponics requires only 10% of the water of conventional farming and requires no chemical fertilizers polluting our air, soil, and waters. Shajan John and Subra Mukherjee have made great strides awakening India’s ecological avant guard, inspiring the notion of a collaboration of civilizations to establish experiments in India’s schools as well. And why not China, Japan, South Africa, and more.

For our global community’s schools: 5% in 5, 20% by 20!

Start-up draft by Mukherjee

In India, we have generated a great deal of interest and awareness in
Aquaponics, through discussions in seminars and public demonstrations of
Aquaponics technologies. Aquaponics is viewed as a means for urban
greening and the creation of food and livelihoods security in the
peri-urban and rural areas of India. The Indo-American Aquaponics
Institute (IAAI), which was launched in September 2011, aims to make
Aquaponics one of the fastest growing economic activities in India within
a decade, by (a) conducting awareness programs on Aquaponics; (b) building
an international coalition of professionals, students and organizations
who can act locally but think globally; © design, localize and build
models of aquaponic systems for urban and rural environments; (d) impact
on state and national government policies for promoting the growth of the
Aquaponics industry; and (e) promote Aquaponics in the South Asian and
Southeast Asian context, then globally.

This ten-year goal ties in nicely with SWA’s “5% in 5, 20% by 20″ vision,
as we wish to implement SWF’s ‘Pedagogy Model’ based on digital badges and
the badging system. We need to enable educators in urban and rural
communities in India to teach a wide range of STEM content while
empowering learners with the capability to supply healthy food to
beneficiary communities. We have applied to the Digital Media and Learning
Research Competition for a $185,000 research grant, the primary objective
of which is to discover what enables the teacher — and by extension, her
students’ prospective employers — to better gauge the specific Aquaponics
skills that her students have mastered, as a result of exposure to SWF’s
badges and badging systems, in the Indian context. We hope this will
create a natural pool of human resources, well versed in Aquaponics and
knowledge of required STEM disciplines.

We also hope that this network of Aquaponics facilities ably supported by
trained human resources will enable (a) launching an eco-tourism industry
in the Sundarbans - an UNESCO World Heritage Centre; (b) building of
‘smarter cities’ in India under the Public-Private Partnerships model and
also with contributions from Corporate Social Responsibility funding
End of first draft

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Page last modified on November 10, 2012, at 09:24 AM