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Student Citizen Science

Aquaponics

In 2014, Flagstaff Academy's Randall Geo-Conservatory Geodome received a generous grant from the Colorado Garden Foundation to establish an aquaponics system. 
 
An aquaponics system is a small scale (nearly) complete ecosystem consisting of fish, plants, beneficial bacteria and worms living in a self-sustaining community where each life form supports the others. Nutrient rich (fish waste and algae) water from the fish tank flows into student accessible growing bins, fertilizing the plants. Instead of soil, clay pellets hold the roots of the plants and are the media for the bacteria and worm communities, which convert nutrients into plant friendly forms. The filtered water is then cycled back into the fish tank. 
 
The aquaponics system is an exciting part of our Greenhouse, Garden and Outdoor classroom curriculum on teaching students how an eco-system works.
 
Learn more about the world of aquaponics.  

Harvest Days

Beginning in 2015, Flagstaff Academy, in partnership with the St. Vrain Valley School District, the Chef Ann Foundation, the Flagstaff PTO Dragon Wellness Committee, and Ollin Farms, has been participating in four Harvest Days. As part of the "Project Produce" grant we received in the fall of 2015, Flagstaff Academy has continued the program into the current school year. On these four days throughout the year, students get to try the produce fresh from Ollin Farms and in a simply prepared recipe.

The program has been featured by the St. Vrain Valley School District, as well as the USDA, who recently visited our school and saw the program firsthand. 

Native Prairie Grassland Garden

As part of our sustainable and green educational commitment, we planted a Native Prairie Grassland Garden in the Outdoor Gardens at Flagstaff. From May to the fall, our community could see the beauty and elegance of these hardy grasses. Native prairie grasses are very adaptable and can grown well in poorer soil quality than most other garden plants. They are low water tolerant, which makes them an ideal choice for our dry Colorado climate.
 
The Native Prairie Grassland Garden is part of the Greenhouse, Garden, and Outdoor Classroom's "The Science of Soil" and "Water Cycle" curriculum. 
 
Watch a video on the "Water Cycle":
 

Pollinators

Our Garden and Outdoor Classroom has a pollinator garden, which includes planting a milkweed garden and other pollinator-attracting plants and we learn from our bee and Monarch butterfly teachers! Flagstaff participates in the "Bees Needs" interactive, citizen science program that educates about native bees and wasps found in the Greater Boulder Area. 
 
This spring we enjoyed watching the magical metamorphosis of our non-captive Monarch family, from larva (pictured above) to a number of adult Monarchs. Read more about how our efforts are contributing to the national efforts to rescue this critical species. 
 

To learn more about the importance of our pollinator garden:

Worms, Worms, Worms and Composting

Our hands-on learning includes getting to know our red wigglers up close and personal! Our Outdoor curriculum includes lessons in Worm Composting or Vermicomposting, which teaches our students on the critical role worms play in recycling food scraps and other organic material. Worms eat food scraps which turns into nutrient-rich compost! Learn more about our worm compost!