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Power Panel Gives a Boost to Education in South Florida

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Power Panel Gives a Boost to Education in South Florida

Earlier this month, Pompano Beach Middle School received a makeover of a different kind – a sustainability makeover.  Through sponsorship from Advanced Roofing and coordination through HANDY (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth), Pompano Beach Middle School will launch its first-ever aquaponic garden with a brand-new AquaGrove system by Power Panel. 

The AquaGrove "Learn and Grow" system is a unique product that was developed by Power Panel to offer a sustainable and organic food source in nearly any location or climate; it provides educational opportunities for schools and universities, as well as incredible growing opportunities for home-growers, restaurants and more.  While the system is capable of operating in both indoor and outdoor environments, Pompano Beach Middle School will be running it from an enclosed garden space in their courtyard.

In order to assemble the system, Pompano Beach Middle School teamed up with the AquaGrove growers at McArthur High School in Hollywood, Florida.  Led by Vincent Newman, McArthur High School’s award-winning Science teacher and recipient of the Dupont Pioneer Excellence in Agricultural Science Education Award, a team of experienced Future Farmers of America students (Eric Novak, Daniel Thomas, Jamal Supplice and Mya Morales) took time from their winter vacation to assemble the AquaGrove.  The team from McArthur High School was able to complete the assembly of the system in just a few short hours on the morning of Monday, January 7, 2019, having it ready for Pompano Beach Middle School students as they returned from holiday break.

When talking about the impact that McArthur High School’s volunteer work will have on Pompano Beach Middle School, Vincent Newman stated, “The importance of what we do here today is to help younger students become familiar with another way of growing sustainable food in the future.”

In the coming months, the teachers at Pompano Beach Middle School will oversee the AquaGrove learning program and system, while students will be empowered and engaged in daily lessons through tracking water levels, feeding fish and measuring vegetation. Teachers and students are looking forward to getting the system cycling and operational soon so that they can begin raising fish and harvesting plants. Pompano Beach Middle School plans to integrate the food grown in the Aquagrove back into the community and school by creating a mini-market for kids; the mini-market will sell to parents and families at a very low cost, as well as donate produce through partnerships with homeless shelters in the community.