Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2018-2019

Submitted by: Elisabeth Dias Email: Grade Level: 7-8 Subject: STEM
Co-Applicant:John Beale Email: bealej@flaglerchools.comGrade level: 7-8 Subject: STEM

School: Indian Trails Middle School Type: Public Grade Levels:7-8 County:Flagler

Approx. Enrollment: 800 Number of teachers:50

School Address:

5505 Belle Terre Pkwy
Palm Coast, Florida 32137

Phone: (386) 446-6732 Email: Paul Peacock


Project Title: Taking STEM Outdoors
Project Dates: November 2-May, 2019 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :STEM- Agriscience- -

The funds for the Terra Grant will be used to build an aquaponics system that combines aquaculture, raising fish, and hydroponics, which is the soil-less growing of plants. Through the three-barrel aquaponic system, the fish waste provides nutrients and the ideal food source for the plants, while the plants filter the water for the fish. The aquaponics system creates a symbiotic relationship for the fish and plants where they work in harmony together for survival. The system will be monitored by the Seneye Reef water monitoring system that monitors ph, temperature and ammonia levels to maintain the integrity of the aquaponic system. This information will be available to all students at ITMS and anyone who accesses the website as all information will be streamed to the school website in real time. In addition, all students on campus will have access to the aquaponics system for cross curricular studies. Our ITMS STEM and Agriculture classes will maintain the aquaponics system, while also using data gathered as a source for lessons and scientific investigations. In addition to this, we plan to partner with a local elementary school to to teach them about aquaponics and help them learn how to utilize our monitoring system to track data from their own school.


How is your project innovative?   (25 points)
The ability to monitor our aquaponics system online makes this project innovative. We are combining technology with modern agricultural methods in order to help students learn more about Agriscience careers and help them begin to develop their own innovative agricultural practices.

How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points)
Students will build and propagate an aquaponics system at our school, while gaining an understanding of the role various producers, consumers, and decomposers play in this process. Students will use the monitoring system to collect data about the temperature, ph, and ammonia levels while working to maintain the system. Through this students will gain a better understanding of physical and chemical changes, as well as more knowledge of acids and bases. SC.7.L.17.1: Explain and illustrate the roles of and relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in the process of energy transfer in a food web. SC.8.P.8.8 Identify basic examples of and compare and classify the properties of compounds, including acids, bases, and salts. SC.8.P.9.2 Differentiate between physical changes and chemical changes. SC.8.P.9.3 Investigate and describe how temperature influences chemical changes. CTE-AFNR.68.GENRL.08.02: Identify animals important to agriculture. CTE-AFNR.68.GENRL.15.02: Prepare and process an agricultural product. CTE-AFNR.68.GENRL.15.03: Propagate horticulture plants. Students will utilize data gathered from the monitoring system to make observations and conduct scientific investigations. They will have opportunities to make hypothesis, conduct experiments, collect and organize data in infographics, and defend their conclusions. Our goal is to provide opportunities for our students to engineer new agricultural processes, devices, and practices based on the results of their investigations. Partnering with local farms and agricultural/STEM professionals will help students understand the importance of Agriscience careers as well as an understanding of career opportunities in this field. SC.7.N.1.1 and SC.8.N.1.1 Define a problem from the seventh grade curriculum, use appropriate reference materials to support scientific understanding, plan and carry out scientific investigation of various types, such as systematic observations or experiments, identify variables, collect and organize data, interpret data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information, make predictions, and defend conclusions. SC.8.N.1.2 Design and conduct a study using repeated trials and replication. CTE-AFNR.68.GENRL.04.08: Describe the diversity of career opportunities in agriculture and its related fields. CTE-AFNR.68.GENRL.04.10: Describe technology used in agricultural production, processing, and marketing of agricultural products.

How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points)
Our aquaponics system will create fresh vegetables that will be eaten by our school community for many years to come. This project will also provide students with ways they can grow food in their own homes, or possibly give them ideas for future career opportunities. Additionally, our monitoring system will be available online for anyone to access and utilize.

How will technology be utilized?  (20 points)
Technology will be utilized throughout this project. Students will access the monitoring system to help track data and maintain our aquaponics system. Students will use their laptops to collect data, conduct scientific observations, and organize/publish data in infographic charts. Students will use video conference tools to connect with other students in our state and beyond who are also creating aquaponics systems. They will compare data and share findings.

What evidence will you collect to show student gain?   (10 points)
Pre-Post Tests for STEM and Agriculture Units will be utilized to determine learning gains made as a result of this project. Student published findings will also be graded according to a rubric, to assess their knowledge of the standards listed above.

How will participants share your project results with the community?  (15 points)
We plan to share our findings with other schools creating similar systems, as well as with local agricultural professionals. We will also share our project at our annual “Classroom to Careers” Showcase taking place in February, 2019. In addition to this, we will reach out to our local newspaper and news stations and invite them to showcase our project.


Service/ Item Description Cost
PVC Piping and Plumbing, hardware, lumber, and other materials to create the aquaponics system   $645.83
Aquaponics Seneye Monitoring System Supplies  $767.69
Fish and Fish Care $303.19
Total Cost of Project $1,716.71
If matching funds identified list source:
Donated Goods/Services:

I, Elisabeth Dias, certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from,the Principal of Indian Trails Middle School and any other individuals required by my school district.