South Iredell High School AquaLab Construction – Part 2

After our last post, Ron Morgan engaged students at SIHS who are eagerly waiting for the AquaLab to be complete. Topics covered ranged from food to culture to international outreach.


Ron Morgan speaking to students at SIHS

Construction of the two raft hydroponic systems and the fish tank stands have started. The pond liners have been cut and inserted into their wooden frames. The frames have a horizontal support beam to prevent bowing when filled with water.


Wooden frames for the raft hydroponic units being constructed.


Liners laid inside frames


Raft hydroponic units filled with water and being tested for leaks

The fish tank stands will be raised to allow for gravity draining into the greenhouse hydroponic units. This will raise the tanks for maximum viewing.


600 gallon fiberglass tank with viewing window


Two circular tanks which will mimic the engineering one would see in a commercial fish farm



South Iredell High School AquaLab Construction – Part 1


New Jaderloon Greenhouse just finished at SIHS


Inside the AG Mechanics workshop looking into the new greenhouse.

Construction of the South iredell High School AquaLab has begun! Iredell County Schools, FFA and several community organizations have come together to make the cross-curricular AquaLab experience happen. The current AG mechanics shop was modified into an aquaculture lab that feeds the hydroponic greenhouse attached. A roll-up door makes the connection between the fish tanks and the hydroponic plants. 

Students will be managing the AquaLab, applying knowledge of science, math, engineering and technology to food production in an innovative new way, aquaponics.This AquaLab will feature:

(2) Complete growing system each with:

  • Fish Tanks
  • Filtration Units
  • On-floor raft hydroponics unit for growing tall fruiting plants
  • Vertical hydroponics Unit (ZipGrow Towers) mounted on steel frame with a winch that raises and lowers the unit for harvesting and planting.

The AquaLab at SIHS will soon be connected with out first installation in Haiti. Students at SIHS will interact with students and community members in Haiti who are also using aquaponics to grow food. Conversations will emerge about science, culture, and whatever else inspires them. For students with are specific interest in aquaponics and international outreach, an internship with 100 Gardens in Charlotte can prepare them to build and train aquaponics farmers in Haiti, along with 100 gardens.

To learn more about the the benefits of aquaponics in schools and see how WE, as a community, can help bring innovative ideas to our region via food production., please visit The 100 Gardens Website.

Here are some of the original rendering formed by us and the faculty at SIHS.


Greenhouse including two raft hydroponic system and vertical growing units. Note the door leading into the AG Mechanics workshop.


Conceptual drawing from the top perspective. Note the fish tanks indoors. These will supply the fertilizer to the hydroponic units. The plants in the hydroponic units will use the fish wastes to grow, cleaning the water before it is returned to the fish.



Garinger High Urban Farm on Local News

Great video interviews from all partners involved in the Garinger High Urban Farm. Thanks to Friendship Gardens and Bobbie Mabe, this project is attracting a lot of attention and making an impact on the school. Check out the video to see what’s happening!