RCC aquaponics featured in TV show

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ASHEBORO, N.C. -- Science students at Randolph Community College experienced being under the microscope in a different way.

A television crew from the nationally syndicated TV show Xploration Earth 2050 visited the campus to feature its aquaponics lab.

"To be thought of as experts and be showcasing a technology like this for young people all over the whole country that's an amazing feeling,” Kevin Jones, science instructor at Randolph Community College, said

Xploration Earth 2050 producer Merv Jones says he came across the school while doing research.

“We’re looking at things that impact the future and we were thinking about doing a show on the future of food.  I did a search about new ways to grow food and aquaponics comes up,” Jones said.

Aquaponics is a method of growing food without soil combining fish farming and water-based plant growth.

"It grows six times as much food as a traditional farm would in the same amount the space, but it’s using less than a tenth of the amount of water,” Kevin Jones said.

Students have grown lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and more.

“Seeds cost a dollar or less a pack and you can grow enough stuff that just keeps re-growing for three or four months at a time,” Joseph VanBencoten, a student at Randolph Community College, said

Scientist and inventor Chuck Pell is the host of Xploration Earth 2050. He says he is impressed by what the school is doing.

"What they're doing here at Randolph Commmunity College with this acquaponics system is figuring out what works and what doesn't. Our lives will be depending on what they figure out here. That's pretty interesting,” Pell said.

The Xploration Earth 2050 episode featuring Randolph Community College is expected to air during the show’s new season in the fall.

The show airs Saturday’s at 8 a.m. on FOX8 as well as on FOX stations throughout the country.