Spirulina seaweed growing system | Afek elementary school

February 2020

Every now and then we get an inquiry that we understand has a special value other than growing plants, helping clients or making money.

This was the case when we were asked to provide a lighting system for a spirulina seaweed growing system, located in an elementary school in Israel.

We met inspiring motivated people that have great cause and belief in life; they make a difference by educating our future generations.

It is a true privilege to take part in such a project.

Looking not so far ahead into our future, the global food crisis is coming and these 6-12 year olds will be the people who solve it for us.

We are just trying to tease them and show what possibilities are out there, expecting that very soon they will show us possibilities we couldn’t have imagined ourselves.

Thanks so much:
Noam Austerlitz - Architect.
Dafna Rudik - AFEK school principle.

From the school - In AFEK we grow seaweed:
AFEK, an experimental sustainable elementary school in ROSH HAAIN Israel, is a unique school. The school’s community has defined sustainability as a way of life that takes the environment into consideration for them, for us and for future generation. When addressing sustainability, we address 3 fields simultaneously: Society, environment and community. We are happy to have realized that sustainability is not static, but ever evolving and so is our model that has developed over the years. In the past our main goal was to introduce sustainability in to our day to day discourse. Today the concept is familiar and gets recognition in all media in Israel and worldwide.

Today our goal is bringing change in central issues like climate and agriculture and their effect on food and renewable energy. Understanding these are issues that will have great development in the near future. Far-reaching changes that will require flexibility, adjustments and adaptation to the new reality from our community.

To reach successes we have defined principles and are active in the pedagogy, community and organizational environments.

In this school year we decided to enlarge the environmental learning focal points and built a unique seaweed growing environment. This environment encourages a knowledge centered systematic point of view. In the school center we set up 4 2m high Perspex cylinders with special grow lights that provide the needed conditions for spirulina seaweed to grow. We document the growing process and the students are active participants. They measure PH and nutrition, take care of cleaning and maintenance and engage in a significant learning experience.

Why seaweed? Recently researches understand that seaweed can provide an important food source, they can be used in the textile industry and can even be a raw material for energy production. They grow at a fast rate and are protein rich.