Aquaponics in the Classroom

Using Aquaponics to Teach Core Science Concepts

April 9, 2015

Students at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy are being exposed to their core science concepts in a new way. They are learning biology, chemistry, physics, and other core scientific concepts through hands-on modules based on an aquaponics system.

Through an NCR-SARE Youth Educator grant, instructors Kevin Savage and Gary Delanoy have created a curriculum that meets science standards and school benchmarks while giving students a hands-on learning experience. The curriculum has less emphasis on memorization and more on connecting with concepts and applications. Students monitor ammonia and nitrate levels to ensure proper nutrient recycling; learn fish anatomy through harvesting, dissecting, and fileting; and learn about plant harvesting, seed recovery, and seed saving.

The school currently has three aquaponics tanks of different designs. Students learn through classes and have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects. They learn to share a research proposal, test various parameters through experimental design, create posters, and present their results.

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy has assisted with aquaponics projects at other schools as well. They’ve participated in developing aquaponics systems in locations such as the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens and the Krohn Conervatory.


View a presentation on this project, from the 2014 Farmers Forum, through NCR-SARE's YouTube playlist. Visit for this and other videos.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant:

Topics: Animal Production, Aquaculture, Farm-to-School/Institution, Fish, Livestock, Local and Regional Food Systems, Sustainable Communities
Related Locations: North Central