The conference runs from November 10 – 12, 2016

Our Managing Partner, Phil, will be making a presentation on Saturday, November 12

 

Wilding the classroom: Bringing outdoor ecosystem into indoor classroom

VIGA is an indoor close-loop aquatic ecosystem which was inspired by nature design, it combines the functions of a pond, wetland and organic farm. VIGA makes the complexities of ecosystems work indoors and allows interactive learning year-round.

Vertical Indoor Gardening and Aquaculture (VIGA™) is a revolutionary indoor close-loop aquatic ecosystem which was inspired by nature design – biomimicry and biophilia, it brings outdoor ecosystem into indoor spaces (Bring Nature Indoors). Fish waste in lower grow tanks, for instance, is recirculated to upper tanks to be converted into nutrient forms that are optimal for the growth of hydroponic crops in the middle tank. Specialized air purification plants growth scrub pollutants (e.g. VOCs, benzene, and formaldehyde) from the indoor space and infuse the room with natural scent and attractiveness.

 

VIGA™ brings the advances of aquaculture and ecosystem closer to students through a physical system that fits typical indoor spaces. VIGA™ provides a hands-on platform for student engagement and integrative learning about the workings of ecosystems.

 

The three modules of VIGA™ house mutually-beneficial ecosystem components.

  1. A ‘Wetland’ (top level) uses a combination of earthworms and fish to filter water, decompose fish waste, and grow air purifying plants.
  2. A ‘Farm’ (middle level) produces rapid growing organic vegetation.
  3. A ‘Pond’ (bottom level) provides the aquatic system conditioning.

VIGA™ enhances indoor air quality by using NASA recommended air purification plantings that effectively mitigate toxins and VOC, such as carcinogens and formaldehyde respectively from indoor materials, and clean indoor air naturally. Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science lessons can be conducted using this VIGA™ feature.

VIGA™ improves human health by producing chemical-free organic produce and fish, it replicates the nutrient cycles of natural ecosystems. VIGA™ exceeds USDA NOP organic aquaponics standards. Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science lessons can be conducted using this VIGA™ feature.

VIGA™ limits water loss by recirculating water through tanks, which produces crops with 90% less water consumption compared to conventional outdoor soil-based farming. Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science lessons can be conducted using this VIGA™ feature.

VIGA™’s biophilic design provides nature therapy with natural scene and sense. It uses the Biophilic Effect to provide relief and relaxation through nature therapy by combining soothing sounds of running water with cathartic benefits of natural ambient and scenes. Occupants’ wellbeing can be improved through participative and active healing process. Biology and Environmental Science lessons can be conducted using this VIGA™ feature.

 

Electricity is needed for growing lights and pumps, the environmental impact is minimized by the use of energy-efficient LED and T5 lights as well as solar PV. Also, lighting source will determine the produce growth rate. Biology and Physics lessons can be conducted with this VIGA™ feature.

VIGA™ design reduces carbon footprint significantly by eliminate carbon emission from transportation – local food, local education, and local nature space. (Physics and Environmental Science lessons can be conducted with this VIGA™ feature.

Sample of VIGA™ Educator’s guides which were developed with reference to the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum grade level standards will be presented to the attendees.

 

For more information, please visit: https://stao.ca/cms/