Upper Perk xLab School to Table Aquaculture Project

What is the Upper Perk High School XLab?

The UP Xlab is a space where students can design, create, explore, fail and succeed on projects that they are passionate about. The “X” is used to signify that anything is possible, projects are broad and cover many interdisciplinary areas. Students will be challenged everyday to think outside the box and solve problems with creativity and teamwork. In the Xlab students will learn that the process is often times more rewarding than the product.

A UPSD graduate checks on his plant growth upon entering class

Fish excrement is filtered and provides nutrients to the produce as the plants grow

Students grow basil and leafy greens which are then provided to our school cafeteria

A variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs can be produced with the right space and attention

The level of collaboration and excitement in our students is unmatched!

What is the xLab School to table aquaculture project ?

Students enrolled Energy System course design and build systems as they create a sustainable food production solution for our growing population. Many of the systems designed by our students produce vegetables in a very small period of time and allow students to see the outcome of quality research and design as it relates to the design thinking process. Students experiment with different light sources, system configurations, materials and plant types to determine optimal growing conditions for different vegetables and plants. In the XLab, students produce and harvest tomatoes, leafy greens, and peppers as well as variety of herbs. This produce is then provided to our high school students and families and our school cafeteria.

What is the Long Term Vision of the UPSD XLAB School to table aquaculture project ?

The XLab Aquaculture Project is ready to expand! In the past 2 years, student enrollment in high school tech ed classes has doubled. Upper Perkiomen High School would like to develop an advanced level of this program. We are also interested in bringing a true school to table educational model to all students and stakeholders in the district. The goal is to build a greenhouse and grow enough to supply our school district with vegetables for the cafeteria, feed our local community and partner with local restaurants to bring student grown produce to the Upper Perkiomen Valley. Our program could then model a system where we grow the food, market the product and partner with local businesses to provide our students with real world learning experiences to support their future needs.

Created By
Allison Stephens


Created with images by bert_m_b - "Unidentified Plant Units"

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