S4E43: Samantha Johnson - Nudging Students into an Aquaponics Tank
Vertical Farming PodcastOctober 29, 2021x
00:53:5449.39 MB

S4E43: Samantha Johnson - Nudging Students into an Aquaponics Tank

Episode Summary

Join Harry Duran, host of Vertical Farming Podcast, as he welcomes to the show Samantha Johnson. Samantha is the Director of Aquaponics Programs at Commonwealth Charter Academy, a top accredited K through 12 public cyber charter school located in Pennsylvania. Samantha is a highly skilled and student-focused leader who possesses a strong commitment to the development of students and staff through differentiated, innovative and individualized learning experiences

Today, Harry and Samantha talk about the work she is doing educating young men and women on the AgTech industry, specifically through the aquaponics program at CCA. She talks about the partnerships CCA has with AeroFarms and Vertical Harvest and the goals they are striving to achieve together. Samantha also speaks to the importance she places on preparing her students for the professional world and the challenges they are likely to face in the vertical farming space. Finally, Samantha discusses what continues to motivate and drive her throughout her teaching and vertical farming journey.

Episode Sponsor

Freight Farms

Key Takeaways

  • 01:13 – Harry welcomes to the show Samantha Johnson, who joins the show to discuss her background in education and the challenges COVID-19 has brought to her profession
  • 10:36 – Commonwealth Charter Academy
  • 12:23 – Samantha’s vertical farming origin story
  • 18:07 – Partnering with AeroFarms and Vertical Harvest
  • 19:40 – Student feedback on the Aquaponics Program
  • 26:49 – Learning through mistakes
  • 31:23 – Changes and trends Samantha has noticed in the vertical farming industry
  • 35:48 – Companies and organizations Samantha would like to partner with in the future
  • 39:51 – Challenges in AgTech and education
  • 46:39 – Something Samantha has changed her mind about recently
  • 48:49 – What motivates and drives Samantha
  • 51:59 – Harry thanks Samantha for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can learn more about CCA and connect with Samantha

Tweetable Quotes

“Commonwealth Charter Academy is a public cyber charter school located in Pennsylvania. We have numerous building across the state because, although we’re a cyber school, we very much understand that some learners learn best in person or even in a blended model.” (10:41) (Samantha)

“Our school itself is very large. We’re up to about sixteen to seventeen thousand students and our mantra is workforce development. We want students to have skills necessary to either enter the workforce after they graduate. Or, if they want to go to college, we want to help them through that entire process from start to finish.” (11:27) (Samantha)

“At the end of the day, I want to give them skills that they can use when they graduate. And there are some basic ones that everyone needs to know. You have to show up on time. You have to show up appropriately dressed. Those kind of very basic skills.” (25:07) (Samantha)

“I feel like the vertical farming industry changes a mile a minute.” (31:31) (Samantha)

“For us it’s more how do we make sure that we meet the needs of all of our students, and on top of that we work with community members too.” (46:11) (Samantha)

Links Mentioned

Samantha’s LinkedIn

Sponsor Info:

Cultivatd Website

Cultivatd Instagram

Cultivatd’s Twitter

Cultivatd’s Facebook

Freight Farms Website

Freight Farms Facebook

Freight Farms Twitter


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