Aquaponics Education for Schools | Systems & Curriculum

Build an Aquaponics Garden; a combination of conventional hydroponics & aquaculture in a NEW WAY


KINDERGARTEN - Life Sciences & Ecology --- Class size: 6 classes of 25 students --Time required: 30 minutes per class

·         Different types of plants and animals inhabit the earth. As a basis for understanding this concept:

·         Students know how to identify major structures of common plants and animals (e.g., stems, leaves, roots, arms, wings, legs).

Investigation and Experimentation Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

·         Observe common objects by using the five senses.

·         Describe the properties of common objects.

FIRST GRADE -  Life Sciences & Ecology

·         Plants and animals meet their needs in different ways. As a basis for understanding this concept:

·         Students know different plants and animals inhabit various kinds of environments and have external features that help them thrive in different kinds of places.

·         Students know both plants and animals need water, animals need food, and plants need light.

·         Students know animals eat plants or other animals for food and may also use plants or even other animals for shelter and nesting.

·         Students know roots are associated with the intake of water and soil nutrients and green leaves are associated with making food from sunlight.

SECOND GRADE - Life Sciences & Ecology

As an example: “Students at Stonehurst Elementary will be taught about the newly constructed aquaponics garden in their greenhouse by creating a small system that the students can keep. As they construct their scaled system, they will be taught about the integral components of aquaponics, and how each part sustains the plants and the fish. To conclude, they will then apply the knowledge acquired through a tour of their large scale greenhouse aquaponic system.” 

In Conclusion --“…aquaponics is safer than ground farming • Provides hands-on learning experiences for students incorporating STEAM values and active, movement-based learning • Applications in curriculum are endless.” -HAPA

RESOURCES for School Aquaponics System & Permaculture



AquaBundance SpaceSaver Aquaponics System --Moveable aquaponics food growing system popular with schools-- Features a 60-gallon fish tank and a 7.5 sq. ft. grow bed expandable to 15 sq. ft.


Aquaponicals Tabletop Aquaponics System--Small, fully-functioning aquaponics system ideal for smaller classrooms and teachers’ desks. Capable of growing houseplants, leafy greens, and herbs. Offers an Educational Set that includes a 6-lesson Introductory Aquaponics Curriculum designed for grades 3-6.



Aquaponics Curriculum Sets by The Aquaponic Source --Developed over the course of a year working closely with a Colorado MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Elementary Achievement) School program. Designed for grades 3-6.


“Aquaponics: Exploring Nitrogen Cycling in a Closed System” Lesson Plan -- Outlines an inquiry-based approach to investigating nutrient cycling in a simplified desktop ecosystem involving aquaria and hydroponically grown plants. Designed for use in high school Ecology, Environmental Science, or Biology classes and can be easily modified for use with younger students.


“Build Your Own Aquaponics Garden” Lesson Plan --Created by Zoo Magnet High School students as part of the QuickSCIENCE Challenge hosted by the University of Southern California and Quiksilver. Designed for grades K-2.


Aquaponics for Teaching and Demonstration - Agricultural Education

Students to learn STEM. This system is ... curricula. By incorporating aquaponics into daily classroom activities. Promising Alternatives in Agri‐technology: Aquaponics.



“Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together” -- This award-winning, bestselling book is the go-to guide for getting started in home and school aquaponics.


The Aquaponic Gardening Online Course --This online course is the perfect complement to the “Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Fish and Vegetables Together” book. Offered in conjunction with, this comprehensive course features videos, presentation slides, and an interactive chat room that can be accessed 24/7.


“How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers” -- This “groundbreaking” resource offers parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.


Many classroom YouTube videos at including Aquaponic Garden Classroom in a NYC Public Elementary School



Nature Works Everywhere – The Nature Conservancy online tool – Nature in the Classroom & Nature in the Garden. Teach children how nature is a fantastic factory that makes life possible. Enable children to explore and apply knowledge in the garden. Presented by TNC


STEM in Milwaukee, educators are creating a curriculum on the sustainable food-growing practice of aquaponics: “By giving educators access to top-notch professional development on STEM issues, we are giving them the tools and skills they need to further inspire STEM achievement with their students,” Van Roekel said. “These projects have the power to engage our students with real-world learning opportunities and inspire them to raise their achievement in STEM areas.” Read NEA’s Policy Brief on STEM at


Incorporating Aquaponics in an Agri-science Curriculum. Here is a proven step by step methodology that will enable you to successfully integrate aquaponics into your curriculum.


School Grant information is available at


Permaculture for Children:  Aquaponics as a field of Permaculture Sciences


Aquaponics Education for Schools | Systems & Curriculum: Our Aquaponics Education Programs are designed to break from the conventional classroom and immerse students in a world of experiential learning. Imagine yourself back when you were a student. You totter in, sit down, and dust-off a boring textbook. Now imagine yourself being asked to put down that textbook and immerse yourself in the wonders of hands-on science. Using aquaponics as an educational tool, you’ll be interactively teaching valuable STEM concepts and best of all, you will inspire students with ideas that can really benefit humanity. Aquaponics is a fun and easy way to engage students in sustainable technologies and alternative ways of growing food! Our programs come with a K-12 STEM curriculum and align with the Next Generation Science Standards. We encourage educators of all grade-levels to grow with aquaponics at their school! Learn more about how you can create a project that educates future farmers and contributes to the sustainability of our planet.

How to Grow A School Garden is A groundbreaking resource, two school garden pioneers offer parents, teachers, and school administrators everything they need to know to build school gardens and to develop the programs that support them.

Today both schools and parents have a unique opportunity — and an increasing responsibility — to cultivate an awareness of our finite resources, to reinforce values of environmental stewardship, to help students understand concepts of nutrition and health, and to connect children to the natural world. What better way to do this than by engaging young people, their families, and teachers in the wondrous outdoor classroom that is their very own school garden?


It's all here: developing the concept, planning, fund-raising, organizing, designing the space, preparing the site, working with parents and schools, teaching in the garden, planting, harvesting, and even cooking, with kid-friendly recipes and year-round activities. Packed with strategies, to-do lists, sample letters, detailed lesson plans, and tricks of the trade from decades of experience developing school garden programs for grades K–8, this hands-on approach will make school garden projects accessible, inexpensive, and sustainable.


Reclaiming a piece of neglected play yard and transforming it into an ecologically rich school garden is among the most beneficial activities that parents, teachers, and children can undertake together. This book provides all the tools that the school community needs to build a productive and engaging school garden that will continue to inspire and nurture students and families for years to come.


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