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Abstract Detail


Clayborn, Jaeson [1], O'Brien, George [2], Medina, Miles [3].

School gardening with a twist using fish: Encouraging educators to adopt aquaponics in the classroom.

Aquaponic gardening integrates fish farming and soil-less (hydroponic) crop production in a highly productive system that conserves water by recirculating nutrient-rich fish effluent as fertilizer for horticultural crops. In the classroom, an aquaponic system can be inexpensively constructed and maintained to provide elementary, middle, and high-school students unique opportunities that promote experiential learning in science and engineering in the context of ecological sustainability and social responsibility. In order to evaluate the willingness of teachers to incorporate aquaponics in the classroom, we engaged 14 first-year and veteran women educators in a 6-week aquaponics project. Fourteen participants completed an aquaponic content pre-test to gauge prior knowledge and participated in an interactive introductory aquaponic session. Members of the experimental group (N1 =7) each constructed and maintained a small-scale aquaponic system (25 gal.) and participated in a simple plant growth experiment. Members of the control group (N0 = 7) did not participate in construction, maintenance or the experiment. All participants completed post-tests and exit surveys. Both groups scored significantly higher on the post-test, but there was no significant difference in post-test scores between groups. In the exit surveys, compared to the control group, participants from the experimental group expressed a greater likelihood to use an aquaponic system at home or in the classroom, believed the system was easy to maintain, and strongly agreed it would help students with math and science. The results from this small study demonstrated that the conceptual framework and low-cost scheme we presented to educators, along with providing a hands-on experience, encouraged them to use and implement aquaponics as an educational tool in the classroom.

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Related Links:
The Future is Now (Aquaponics)

1 - Florida International University, Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL, 33199, USA
2 - Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL, 33199, United States
3 - University of Florida, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 1741 Museum Road, Gainesville, FL

Sustainable gardening
K-12 education.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 18, Teaching Section Papers Session I
Location: 101/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Time: 9:45 AM
Number: 18008
Abstract ID:654
Candidate for Awards:None

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