In this telecollaborative project, students in grades 9 - 12 will study and work with appropriate and organic technologies that support sustainable food resources which are necessary to combat current global food shortages. Students will research biodynamic farming systems, conduct investigations, and engage in a series of design challenges. Ultimately, students around the world will collaborate to design an aquaponics system that sustains plant and animal life.
Through this project, students will be introduced to the concepts of systems engineering. Systems engineering activities present an opportunity for students to do engineering the way engineers do it. Students can work together to identify problems or opportunities, explore alternatives, create models and test them. The Internet and computer-aided design software make it feasible for students in multiple locations to work together to develop solutions to complex engineering challenges.
Students are challenged to think critically and creatively about the technological and environmental issues involved in this project. As a participant in this project, students around the world will collaborate to design an aquaponics system that sustains fish and plants to be delivered to a developing country along with a media/education kit and materials for educating the new owners of the system. Each participating class will contribute to a Systems Requirements Document that describes the needs and requirements of the aquaponics system and then design a specific designated subsystem. One or more of the participating classes will produce the final aquaponics system based on the detailed subsystem designs supplied by all project participants.