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Dukes demonstrate recent lessons at latest Expo

WINDSOR

From aquaponics to robotics, the students at Windsor High School on Thursday evening presented what they’ve learned in those topics and more. This was for the winter session of the Dukes’ Expo of Learning.

In the greenhouse, seniors Shara Hollis and Austin Ducceschi and junior Carly Deans explained to visitors about the aquaponics systems that had been set up. One of two tanks holds tilapia. From there, the water and fish waste are filtered twice before the remaining nutrient-rich water feeds into the lengthy spread of greens growing close to the floor. Some of the plants are faring better than others. Ph levels, and temperature are factors that influence their growth. The filters are cleaned out daily and what’s inside can be used as fertilizer for the outside practice fields.

Amy Chapman, the students’ teacher, said the project is “still in experimental phases,” and added, “It’s surprising how well the fish have thrived.”

Another water-related project was going on elsewhere in the main building. Joe Dematteo, Eva Fong, Brian Gust and Cameron Finney were scrubbing and picking off barnacles off of oyster shells. Next to them, Drake Casper, Avery Pagan, Jared Littlefield, Nathaniel Marshall and Alex Rowland explained to visitors how important oysters were in filtering water. Once cleaned, the oysters will be returned to the water for that purpose, as well as becoming a coral-like shelter for fish.

Elsewhere, Paul Mayer and Conner Logwood supervised people who wanted to control the robot used by the school team. Roland Downing, the Career and Technical Education teacher, said the team recently participated in a competition, and came in 26 out of 36 places.

In the cosmetology area, Aliyah Gholston and Victoria Johnson were doing hair work on two “clients.”

“There’s always continuing education,” said instructor Danielle Gibson, and added that this spring her students will be able to take their state board exams, which will enable them to be certified to practice their skills in hair, nails and skin care.

The creative writing class, directed by Virginia Beatty-Riffle, sold copies of its literary magazine, which featured several poems written by students such as Zoe Ferguson, Natalie Spain, Rachel Brock, Sara Rathbun and Katie Anderson.

Tracy Ferguson, the instructional coach who organized this session, said, “I am so proud of our students’ growth in taking ownership of their learning. This is our fifth EXPO and I’ve seen our Project-Based Learning Units becoming more authentic and community based.”