Aquaponics: An innovative teaching model for science education

Theme 4. Education
Session Name 4.1 Educating next generation leaders for Arctic & global challenges
Presentation Type Oral
Author(s) Nate Bickford (University of Nebraska Kearney, USA), Matthew Bice (University of Nebraska Kearney, USA), Jourdan Ringenberg (University of Nebraska Kearney, USA), Angela Hollman (University of Nebraska Kearney, USA), Sonja Bickford (University of Nebraska Kearney, USA)
Abstract text

Science is often viewed as a difficult subject for students as previous studies within education research highlight negative attitudes towards sciences and the decline in individuals seeking science-related careers. Interest in science among students has become a concern as the number of students choosing to pursue science-related topics after the age of 16 decreased by over half. 73% of students believed science in schools was important; however, 40% of those students found science classes boring.

Innovative instructional strategies that actively engage students in learning and allow students to demonstrate their learning are becoming increasingly popular in classrooms.  In addition, teachers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to provide differentiated learning experiences based on students needing multiple learning strategies to develop knowledge and achieve deep understanding of the content. In addition, the adaptation to the skills needed in the 21st century are at the forefront of lesson planning.  Teachers’ fundamental role in the classroom is to activate student learning and provide feedback to the students on their learning. Thus, using aquaponics growing systems support the use of innovative instructional strategies that engage students in the learning, provide for multiple, differentiated learning activities based on the needs of students, and afford opportunities for teachers to provide feedback to students on their learning and inquiry activities.  In addition, the use of aquaponics growing systems have benefits that extend well beyond science education and have the potential to stimulate interest and inquiry among students that can transferred to all areas of their lives.

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