Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms, including plants and animals, and is an important and growing sector of Maine’s economy. Due to the over-exploitation of natural populations of many seafood species, societies are looking more and more to aquaculture as a source of seafood. Aquaculture, however, promises to provide more than just food on the table.
Aquaculture-based projects can be a powerful classroom tool for demonstrating concepts in fields as diverse as chemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics, ecology, conservation biology and genetics. We have been working with teachers for over five years to develop aquaculture based classroom-activities. Our aim is not to create an aquaculture curriculum, per se, but to introduce teachers to activities that can be readily integrated into an existing curriculum and allow teachers to engage students in new, attractive and innovative ways.

As part of our effort, we have hosted several teacher workshops on integrating small aquaculture projects into elementary, middle and high school curricula. The goals of our workshops are to:

introduce teachers to the variety of aquaculture activities at the University of Maine;
provide background material to increase teachers’ knowledge base in aquaculture and associated fields;
demonstrate active-learning and inquiry-based activities rooted in aquaculture that can be readily used in the classroom to demonstrate concepts in chemistry, physics, and genetics; and
work with teachers during and after the workshop to further develop these activities so they become highly useful educational tools that other teachers will want to adopt.

Aquaculture for Teachers is funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
The University of Maine