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The AinA program has developed partnerships and collaborative efforts with institutions and agencies focused on research and education. The partners listed below have been key to the success of the program over the last two decades.
IMET faculty and staff and the Aquaculture Research Center (ARC) in Baltimore City are the essential resources for aquaculture technical content, recirculating system design and fish culture for the AinA program since its inception in 1996.
MD DNR fisheries staff provide a variety of native fish species, husbandry advice and guidance and assistance for local fish release. All AinA schools are registered with MD DNR through a special aquaculture permit specifically designed for K-12 education.
Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS)
CCPS has served as the model for the AinA program through the development of Science Research curriculum that emphasizes project based learning for all students at the high school level. CCPS also provides important venues and master teachers for teacher professional development to assist with workshops. The 20+ year relationship with CCPS administrators of science education has been the key to this success.
The BPI provides an urban model for the AinA program that demonstrates the use of new technologies in science education. Innovative teachers have developed microcomputing systems that monitor water quality (WQ) parameters that have been implemented across AinA schools in Maryland. These systems have improved the comprehension of water quality interactions among teachers and students and helps with recognition of early warning signs and potential WQ issues.
The JHU CLF (@Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore City) demonstrates the effectiveness of how small-scale aquaponics can be used as a model for the study of food system science. The project also serves as an introduction on the potential of aquaponics as a classroom tool and has been an important partner in teacher PD for AinA workshops.
National Aquarium (NA)
The NA in Baltimore has provided advice on best practices regarding fish health and disease monitoring through their Department of Veterinary Medicine.
HPL has provided native and tropical fish species for incorporation into AinA classrooms and PD opportunities for teachers.
NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (NOAA BWET) and Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) have provided funds over the course of the AinA program in support of teacher PD, supplies for the construction of recirculating systems, water quality equipment and field trips for environmental monitoring and fish release.