Teacher Area

Lesson Plan 6: Production of Aquaponics System

All schools will have the opportunity to produce the final aquaponics system based on the various subsystem designs submitted. Schools should have materials and equipment already in place so that they can begin production immediately. Based on the design and complexity of the aquaponics system, production may take anywhere from 3-5 days. Students should be broken up into teams so that all subsystems can be produced and individually tested at the same time. If two schools are within close proximity it may be feasible to have these two schools split the work and then have the final assembly occur at one of the two schools.

One group of students at each school will develop literature to accompany the aquaponics system. This would include information on how to create and assemble the system (depending on whether this is something that is shipped or made from local parts), what types of plants and fish can be grown in the system, how to use the system, and how to maintain the system, as well as a troubleshooting guide.

If a school does not have the capability to produce the final aquaponics system, their effort should, instead, focus the the literature creation. Their job should be to take the running documentation of each school's research, and combine it with the final sub-system solutions to provide the intended users of the complete systems with a "how to" or "In-Plain-English" guide to understanding and maintaining their new system.  Whether produced as a video, media kit, or paperbound manual, the goal is to provide the intended audience with an education.  The final product should not only address technical information, but should also inform the user as to how science, math, history, economics, government, society and agriculture are each affected by the product.  


Students will be able to:
  1. Follow the design process to plan and fabricate dependent subsystems
  2. Use appropriate technology tin order to execture the design created by the various project members
  3. Develop supporting literature and a knowledge base to successfully utilize and operate the aquaponics system.
  4. Share feedback and reflections on project experience.


Materials and Resources
  • Computers with internet access
  • Daily Log Forms
  • Basic Modeling tools (craft knife, rulers, hot glue guns), modeling material (foam core, cardboard, aluminum/plastic sheets, vinyl tubing, wood). Production facility and tools (drill press, band saw, sander, assorted hand/power tools), materials (access to various wood, metal, and plastics).


New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

  • Standard 5.2: Science and Society
  • Standard 5.4: Nature and Process of Technology
  • Standard 5.5: Characteristics of Life
  • Standard 5.10: Environmental Studies
  • Standard 8.2: Technological Literacy

ITEA Standards of Technological Literacy

  • Standards: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 19

National Science Content Standards

  • Physical Science
  • Science and Technology
  1. Fabricate final design as described in the designs submitted by partner schools - (5 days)

  2. Develop technical literature and knowledge data base for users and stakeholders that includes:
    • Complete instructions on how to produce and assemble the aquaponics system.
    • A catalog of various locally available plants and fish species that are suitable in aquaponics systems.
    • A guide to setting up, utilizing, and maintaining the aquaponics system.

  3. Submit daily postings to Collaboration Central that indicates students' progress toward completing the system and accompanying literature.

  4. Submit a final posting to Collaboration Central that describes the successes and/or challenges students had in producing the final aquaponics system. Provide suggestions for re-design.


Students should complete and submit Daily Log forms. Students identify what they have done for the day. They note materials, tools, and resources used. Special attention is paid to any problems that the students had, and how other components might affect their component.

Suggestions for Follow-up Activities
  • Productivity Recording:
    • Record the long term outcomes, harvest yields, time to maturity, of the biodynamic system.
    • Record nutrient and pollutant level of the system.
  • Redesign Assessment
  • Use Alternate Energy to Power System:
    • Students design and build advanced components that can monitor and adjust variables in the growing environments of both the plants and animals.
    • All components run off of alternate energy.