St. Johns Technical High School (SJTHS) is home to the newly established Academy of Aquaculture. The Academy teaches students technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare them for further education and careers in aquaculture, agriculture, environmental science, natural resources conservation, commercial farming, and sustainable farming.
In January 2022, SJTHS was selected by GloDev, Inc. to receive a 20’x36’ greenhouse and an 8-grow bed aquaponics system after the staff and volunteers of GloDev, Inc. hosted a field study for our students to learn about water conservation and sustainable farming. We broke ground in May 2022 constructing the greenhouse collaboratively, including students and staff from SJTHS and volunteers from GloDev, Inc. Construction ceased over the summer break so that students could continue to be involved with all phases of the build. The project resumed in August 2022. GloDev, Inc. travels from northwest Jacksonville and spends the entire day working side-by-side with students and staff to continue the build – many of these students having their first experience with using construction and agriculture tools. Once the greenhouse and aquaponics system are assembled and fully operating, GloDev, Inc. will provide training and technical assistance on the mechanics of the system, preventative and routine maintenance, and best practices for yielding fresh, organic fish and produce. Eventually, educational presentations and tours will be available for middle and high school students as well as the community.
Expansion plans in partnership with Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, Anastasia Mosquito Control District, and the University of Florida are to add more fish tanks that will be dedicated to breeding and studying a variety of aquatic species.