Aquaponics systems as an educational tool: effects on students’ achievement and teachers’ views

Aquaponics systems as an educational tool


  • Ayşegül Baykır
  • Semra Mirici Gazi University
  • Duygu Sönmez


Aquaponics systems model aquaculture and hydroponics systems for food production. Aquponics allow cycle of nutrients as well as wastes and offers a sustainable option to the use of environmental resources.   Aquaponics systems are also considered in education as a teaching tool which can be implemented into different grade levels. . It’s possible to talk about different science concepts around a real world problem with aquaponics and they present a good opportunity for STEM education. In addition, problem solving, systems thinking and science process skills can easily be adapted to aquaponics activities as they are considered effective teaching tools. With this in mind the aquaponics system activity was designed targeting the “Ecosystems Ecology and Contemporary Environmental Issues” unit of the 10th grade biology curricula using the STEM framework. The aquaponics systems activity was implemented as an afterschool activity with the participation of 10th grade students and as a workshop with science and   biology teachers. This study explores; a) how effectively aquaponics systems activity can be used in the classroom, b) what is the impact on students’ achievement and c) what are students’ and teachers’ perception of it. Teachers identified aquaponics systems activity as interesting and motivational for student learning. They all were able to identify scientific concepts of the activity in relation to the biology curriculum however making the connection with STEM disciplines was found to be more difficult. Participating students’ academic achievement scores were found to be statistically higher in post-test analysis. Students were able to practice science process skills, problem solving, and design processes in addition to learning scientific concepts.