06 Mar Spotlight: Natallie Windsor
Interlake High School, Bellevue, WA
Before building my aquaponics system I honestly did not have much hope in aquaponics and did not think that this technique would be realistic and would work efficiently. After planning everything out, buying all the materials, and actually setting up my own system I realized that there was much more to aquaponics then just plants and fish. I learned that it is a whole network that works together and provides food in a sustainable way for the growing population as an end result.
Building my own system has taught me how to budget my own money and has given me new ideas on how to reuse materials for the future. It has made me more aware of current global issues as well as future environmental concerns, and has definitely made me more environmentally conscious. The most interesting thing that I learned about aquaponics was the nitrogen cycle. Prior to this project I did not know the steps to breaking down ammonia and was amazed at how naturally the water was able to be filtered. It was so interesting to see the whole system in motion and actually seeing results, as it was the best feeling in the world! And knowing that I was doing something good for the environment at the same time made me feel even better.
Additionally, I also loved seeing how creative my classmates were in creating their own systems. I was shocked to see the endless possibilities, from big to small, complex to simple, they were all wonderful and all had major success. As a result, my knowledge of aquaponics has not only been applied to the classroom but has also been applied to my life. With this knowledge and experience I have been able to teach kids about aquaponics and present this idea to the Environmental Adventure School, be a part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Teen Action Fair, and have even been able to choose aquaponics as a topic to write about in TWO of my essays for Senior English (See below).
With the experience I have with aquaponics and having my own system I now fully support ProjectFeed1010, love what it stands for, and hope to see more of it in the future. I am honestly so thankful for being given this opportunity to expand my knowledge and be able to enrich others minds in hopes of coming closer to solving worldwide issues and concerns. Go aquaponics!