In this 7th grade unit, student teams design and construct a small/micro-scale symbiotic aquaponic system that can be used by populations lacking natural resources needed to provide and cultivate a sustainable, nutrient-rich food source. This unit engages students in participating in an engineering design challenge in which they create a viable farming method consisting of a self-sustaining system that cycles matter and allows for energy flow, and can provide both fish and vegetables for families.
- Organisms are interconnected with their environments, and continually recycle matter, needed to sustain life, among themselves and the environment; therefore, changes in one part of the system will affect other parts of the system. Humans can also alter the living and non-living factors within an ecosystem, thereby creating changes to the overall system.
- Energy rich molecules are transferred from one organism to another and then are eventually recycled by decomposers back into mineral nutrients usable by plants, making organisms dependant on both abiotic and biotic factors in order to survive; symbiotic relationships are necessary for production.
- Scientific inquiry involves asking scientifically-oriented questions, collecting evidence, forming explanations, connecting explanations to scientific knowledge and theory, and communicating and justifying the explanation.