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Like a Boss: How Riverbend’s Aquaponics Program Prepares Kyra for the Future

“A high point of Aquaponics is seeing the progress of plants and fish growing and knowing WE were responsible,” says Kyra Keenan, CEO of the company Lemonlicious.

Kyra is in the 8th grade at Upper Merion Area School District Middle School where every 7th and 8th grade student participates in Riverbend’s award-winning Building STEM Skills through Aquaponics curriculum. “Within our company we have a production team, media group, farmers, and marketing team. We started out deciding to grow basil, strawberries, and mint. For the strawberries we wanted to buy crop insurance because growing them was risky, and if we lost that crop, we knew we would be covered financially. As CEO, seeing everything come together so fast now after everyone worked so hard is really exciting. This week we have all the posters out, a commercial running on our school broadcast channel, and school announcements being made. Our slogan is 'Lemonliscious, so delicious: Come by Mr. Q’s because it’s great and nutritious.' ”

Because of this program, Kyra says she thinks differently about food and farming and is interested in learning more about sustainable sources. Although she liked science before, she says she now “definitely looks forward to it!”

Kyra believes this program is really good for 8th graders. “We’ll be going into high school soon and many of us will get jobs. With Aquaponics, it’s not all planned out for you. Sometimes you need to solve problems and take matters into your own hands!“

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