The year is in full swing and we are back on the guns2garden project with the kids. New kids around this time as all former students are no longer in the school because: some families relocated to other safer neighborhoods, others had to change schools to makeup for lost credits, some just disappeared, pregnancies, I even lost one kid to prison.

Castlemont High School in East Oakland is where we run the g2g project. I think  the url’s below can speak for themselves.

http://www.npr.org/2013/12/13/250734629/for-many-urban-schools-gun-violence-remains-a-daily-reality

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21603171/fight-at-an-oakland-high-school-causes-police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp_QcMLbj1o

http://blog.sfgate.com/cjohnson/2014/01/28/oaklands-youth-uprising-mourns-violent-attacks-on-its-members/ (Youth Uprising shares a common fence with Castlemong High School and funds the kids in g2g)

The g2g facility is coming along OK, we are about to get a third student built garden inside. We should fire things up shortly. Also, construction on the fab lab is just about to begin.

So what’s in the  name , well we are converting a former JROTC rifle shooting range into a smart indoor aquaponic farm, ie – guns to gardens. Some original graffiti on wall.

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Three beds coming along built by students last year. there will be at least 15 such gardens when we are done wit the garden part. Another part of this program coming up shortly is a fab lab .

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Given the challenges that the kids have to deal with at Castlemont – the  idea of the program is to use technology to assist students with motivation, retention and their school grades rather than make them aquaponics farmers or software developers. We trying to use technology to teach basic skills. today was our first day back so the lesson plan was teaching about squares and how to use them as building blocks.

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To show how many things are really made up of simple shapes like squares, triangles and circles.

IMG_20140129_172531That basics will always get you there as you can always build on them. That you can build many things using squares including a highly efficient food system

IMG_20140129_175151So why aquaponics and squares, well, they are virtual building blocks similar to mental lego pieces,  they allow modular thoughts, inputs and outputs are more defined, they are replaceable through plug and play, they encourage thinking ahead, focus can be redirected more on flow and relations as compared to details.