Aquaponics is a combination of raising fish or aquatic animals with growing plants in water. Plants benefit from nutrients which are broken down from the animal wastes and the aquatic animals get back purified water that is free of toxins. Students learned that with aquaponics less land, water, and time are needed to grow food. Aquaponics systems are environmentally friendly. They also learned that growing fruits and vegetables this way is healthier because no contaminants are added.
In class, the students took turns feeding our two goldfish, Zippity and Splash, who they helped name. The students began planting basil, parsley, and other seeds using clay pellets and small strips of paper towels instead of soil. Students are checking the water quality in the fish tank and they are documenting the levels.
Aquaponics has already become an enjoyable and effective way for our students to study STEM content, and is an extension of our Engineering Science units which addressed issues like sustainable development and environmental science.