General Fieldwork Plan:

1) To build two aquaponic systems for Newton North. They will need to be easily dissembled for transportation purposes to the new building.

2) Create a class curriculum that can teach students about aquaponics and certain scientific aspects of it. Make it so that it can be integrated into the biology classes or greengineering classes, or even possibly become an elective of its own one day! For now the class curriculum is going to act more like a Unit Curriculum that could be thrown into the science classes at the end of the year, or parts of it can be used for teaching what is already necessary to learn.

3) Before I start building my aquaponic systems or work on my curriculum I will be driving out to Michigan with my dad. My father is going to help me with any advice about how to go about building my system and help me make my blueprints. In addition he will act as a mentor in teaching me as much as possible about aquaponics and ways to teach others. (My class curriculum can and probably will end up being a great outline for the course my dad and I will be teaching in the years to come)

4) I will build two different systems...

-The first one will be in a 70 gallon fish tank and will be the most basic floating system. Essentially the tank will be divided into two. One side will have the fish in it and the other will have styrofoam floating on top with plants in it. This kind of system allows for a very visual way of learning about root development, the microbial processes present, plant growth, and fish care. I will have the 70 gallon tank cleaned and set up before I leave for my travels. This way when I return home from Michigan with plants I will be able to put them directly into the system won't have to wait for the system to get adjusted.

-The second system will be a small scale version of what the commercial growers use. It will be a trough system. By building a small scale of what the big boys use. It will allow students to understand many of aquaponics uses and how it can be used in an agricultural aspect. How it works is as follows: It will have one tank with all the fish in it and then one trough roughly 1.5 ft by 4 ft and 1 ft tall. The trough will have gravel on the bottom and be filled with water. On top of the water there will be the styrofoam with the plants growing in the water.

*Addition to project*- I have decided to make a gravel bed system in addition to the trough system. It will use the same tank that the trough system uses. This system will have a grow bed completely full with either gravel or Hydroton (Hydroponic growing media, Hydroton is just clay pellets) There will be a continuous flow of water from the fish tank into the grow bed.

5) While I build my systems I will be documenting it as best as possible. Will try and take step by step photos of the construction process. Additionally record the steps with voice recorder. Once assembly is complete I will start work on creating a Construction Manual for the systems. The goal will be to make it detailed enough that anyone who needs to will be able to move the system and reassemble it somewhere else. I will include the detailed blueprints of the system in this Manual.

6) After building my systems I will get them running and work on my class curriculum. In order to make my curriculum I will need to find the requirements from the DOE (Department of Education) and also discuss with some of the science teachers as to what kinds of things what might work and what won't in terms of incorporating it into their classes.

7) Once I have a rough draft of my class curriculum I will be using the help of some other SYP Scholars (and maybe my sister) and attempt to teach them what I have created. I will be making a feedback worksheet so I can get responses as to what parts that I teach make sense and what parts are still fuzzy. In addition they will be able to give feedback as to what teaching aspects worked and what didn't.

8) After reviewing peoples responses I will make edits on my curriculum until I am satisfied with a sufficient final product.

Daily Action Plan:

Date What I want Accomplished


*Time spent on specific task in blue.
*Time spent not on SYP in red.
*Location of where I am in green.
*Dates with * are dependent on previous tasks being completed. These are extra things that won't NEED to be done by a certain date.

4/3- Find a place for 200 gallon tank to dry while im away.
4/4- Go to Home depot to get Gravel. (1 hour)
4/4- Have the 70 gallon tank cleaned, and set up with gravel, bubbler, and fish. (Approx. 2 hours)
4/4- Have uncle start Germinating plants in Michigan.
4/4- Depends how long it takes to set up 70 gallon tank: Work on research paper until 6 hours of work has been done.

Rhode Island (URI)

4/5- Go to URI. Having lunch with aquaculture contacts from my dad. Return to Newton around dinner time. (all day trip)


4/6-4/8- Flying to California with sister. Visiting Cali state: Humboldt. Talk to Botany professors, and do tour.
4/8- Return to Newton from California. Unpack California stuff and Repack for Michigan trip also print (1 hour)

(will be at building working from 10 am to at least 6 pm every day while in Michigan)
*4/9-4/10- Drive to Michigan with father. Brainstorm system design on car trip up! Also start supplies list. (12-14 hour car trip)
*Might be taking two days to drive up to Michigan. If done in one day all the future Michigan dates will be one day sooner. Return to newton on the 18th
4/11- Go to home depot and get supplies/order what is needed online.
4/11-4/17- Construction of aquaponic system and dissemble system for set-up in Newton
4/12- Take Pictures of construction to put together a manual. Document steps with voice as well.
4/13- Start work on detailed blueprints to put in the manual for system.
*4/14-Travel to local pet stores to promote GLA worms.
*If not on schedule/don't have an extra hour or two then this probably won't happen.
4/11-4/17- Work on Construction Manual.
4/17- Have Construction Manual finished enough to be able to put back together in Newton.
4/16-4/17- Dissemble system and load into car for transport to Newton.
4/11-4/17- How I will spend NIGHTS: Work on research paper. Get help from dad.
4/18- Drive home to Newton.

(starting 4/28-5/10- 1 hour a day of routine check ups.)
4/18- Drive back home with finished system. Final edits on Rough Draft #2 during drive home, hand in next morning. (12-14 hours car trip)
4/19- Quickly set up 70 gallon Raft system. Install lights and put plants in. Take oxygen levels, nutrient levels, and pH. (1-2 Hours)
4/19- Rough Draft #2 Due.
4/19-4/21- This time will be taken off from SYP instead of taking all of april break, 4/21- Snoop Concert yaay!!!!
4/22-4/25- Construct aquaponic system at school. (This could take only 1 or 2 days but not certain) (working minimum 6 hours a day until system is completed)
4/22-4/25- Do a analysis of Construction Manual while assembling system. If not sufficient make edits. (will be done as I build the systems so time constraints remain the same: minimum of 6 hours a day)
4/26- Have a final product of Construction Manual written and printed. (Spend 1-2 hours finishing up Manual and printing it in morning)
*4/26- Assuming systems are complete: start the launching process for the systems. (3-4 hours spent getting plumbing working, getting water in tanks, cleaning gravel/hydroton, setting everything up)
* if systems are not completed by 4/26 then I will continue working on them and doing analysis of Construction Manual
4/27- Drive out to Ludlow Mass to pick up Koi for the systems. (2 hours there, spend 30-60 min talking to Craig of butterfly Koi and getting fish set up in the car, 2 hour drive back)
4/27- Get the fish adjusted to the new systems. (30-60 min)

Daily system check-ups begin (1 hour a day)

4/28- Start work on Unit Curriculum. Make unit outline, look up DOE, sort research and notes, start writing (4-5 hours)
4/29- Continue work on Unit Curriculum. (4-5 hours)
4/29- Thurs X-block Meet with Bio Teachers show them progress on Unit Curriculum (1 hour)
4/30-5/3- Finish Unit Curriculum and get reviewed by teachers during X-block 5/3. (4-5 hours)
4/30- Begin work on presentation.
5/3- Mon X-block Meet with Bio Teachers show them progress on Unit Curriculum (1 hour)
5/4-5/5- Find people to try and teach Unit Curriculum. Give evaluation sheet to students. (6 hours)
5/6- Look over evaluation sheets, see what worked and what didn't. Make edits to UC. (4-5 hours)
5/7- Have Unit Curriculum completed. What should be done at this point: 1) Systems built. 2) Construction Manual complete. 3) Unit Curriculum complete.
5/7-5/10- Work on Research paper and presentation (6 hours)

4/28-5/10- Routine check ups start. 1) Feed fish. 2) Inspect systems make sure everything is working correctly. 3) Check nutrient levels, pH, and oxygen levels. 4) Take picture of each system, upload to computer and date each photo. (approx 1 hour a day, sometimes more sometimes less.)

5/10-5/14- Back in SYP class, finishing presentation.

Final Product: What will be accomplished in my fieldwork?

1) 70 gallon raft aquaponic system. 4/19
2) 200 gallon trough system and ebb and flow (Gravel) system. 4/26
3) A comprehensive Construction Manual for the aquaponic systems. 4/26
4) A Unit Curriculum for aquaponics. If unable to incorporate into biology courses, at least have a basic aquaponic curriculum written. 5/7
(The curriculum is not the primary focus of project and will act more as an embellishment)