King Science and Technology Magnet Center is one of 15 national semifinalists in a Samsung science and innovation contest.
The Omaha Public Schools middle school advanced to the semifinalist stage last week after being crowned the state winner in Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest. The contest asked schools and student groups to show how they used science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) concepts to solve problems in their communities.
Teachers Kris Denton and Nathaniel Hanna and seventh-graders Imani Lamar and Raven Ventry-Hollingsworth will head to Austin, Texas, next week to compete in the SXSW education conference, in the hopes of seeing King Science named one of five national winners who will receive $140,000 worth of Samsung products and other technology for their school.
The school’s lauded project involves aquaponics, a sustainable form of agriculture that uses fish waste to grow plants and produce in water.
With the help of nonprofit Whispering Roots, students at King Science built two indoor growing systems where waste from tilapia and perch fish acts as fertilizer for soilless grow beds. The students studied urban food deserts — areas with limited access to grocery stores or fresh produce — and devised the aquaponics project as a way to grow healthy food in Omaha.
Since the inception of the project three years ago, the system has produced more than 150 pounds of vegetables that were donated to the Open Door Mission homeless shelter and sold at the school.