Students in Lincoln Academy’s IDEAL program seeding kelp to rope as part of an aquaculture study. The seeded rope will be anchored in the salt water so kelp can grow. IDEAL students will harvest the farmed kelp later this spring.

LA IDEAL students seeded lines for their kelp aquaculture project this week with the help of Pauline Dion from the Boothbay Sea and Science Center. The lines will be anchored at Spartan Sea Farm in Casco Bay this winter, and students will harvest kelp in the spring.

The kelp farming project is part of the IDEAL program’s aquaculture unit, which also includes exploring the Science of Seaweed Farming to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the seaweed farming industry developing in Maine especially along the Damariscotta River in an effort directed toward improving the understanding of an industry that is having a positive economic impact worldwide and potentially positively stimulate economic growth in Maine. Students not only learn about seaweed, but develop observation skills, real time data collection, and data analysis.

This is the second year of the program, and “students are excited to compare their data from last year to compare and contrast the differences,” according to IDEAL teacher Janna Civittolo.