Students from South Carroll High School have approval to design and construct the only student exhibit at Columbus Center, the $147 million marine biotechnology complex at the Inner Harbor.
Robert Foor-Hogue's science research classes have been working for more than a year on a proposal after an invitation from J. Adam Frederick, marine education specialist at the center.
Frederick, a former high school science teacher in Frederick County, knew of Foor-Hogue's pioneering use of aquaculture -- raising fish -- as a medium for teaching scientific research.
"There is nobody else that has the extent of the program he has, from the class all the way out to the environment," Frederick said of Foor-Hogue. "They're using their research to restore the wetlands out there. He's got the whole picture covered."
The South Carroll students will design and build a fish tank that includes a chiller to keep the water cold enough for certain species, a filtration system and an aquaponic shelf for growing plants using fish waste as fertilizer. The filtration system will automatically capture the waste and divert it to the plants.
Foor-Hogue, who has won local, state and national praise for his work, has been using aquaculture in his classes for more than eight years. This year, he is one of seven finalists in the Maryland Teacher of the Year program.
Columbus Center, a joint project of public and private businesses and research organizations, opened this spring to rave reviews. The center has a large public hall with colorful hands-on exhibits, but most of the building is dedicated to research, such as by the Maryland Sea Grant College extension program affiliated with the University of Maryland, College Park.
Foor-Hogue and his students have been working since last school year on mapping a design for the tanks at the Columbus Center. In April, several students visited with Foor-Hogue to look at the space in which they would put the display and to take measurements.
Frederick said he hopes to have the exhibit in place by January. Students and Foor-Hogue will visit the center next month to take more measurements and discuss plumbing, electrical wiring and other details.
Pub Date: 9/22/97