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Bent Egberg Mikkelsen and Collins Momanyi Bosire

Abstract The call for sustainable food production and consumption has led to an increased interest and new policy measures to support the circular economy and climate-smart farming practices. The merits of aquaponics and closed-loop nutrient cycling systems are increasingly being examined in terms of sustainable productivity in various settings including urban environments. Aquaponics also has the potential to be applied as a learning tool for people of all ages but especially for young people at school. This chapter studies the potential of aquaponics to teach food and science literacy and the use of the technology as an educational tool in primary school. The chapter draws on data from the Growing Blue & Green (GBG) program carried out in cooperation among Aalborg University, Copenhagen, municipal schools and their teachers and a private aquaponic enterprise. The chapter draws on three empirical studies including an exploratory study on the educational opportunities at school, a feasibility study carried out among teachers, as well as the educational Growing Blue & Green (eGBG) study, in which a digital-based regulation component was added. The conclusion is that low-cost versions of aquaponics have considerable potential for supportive learning in elementary school. Preliminary findings furthermore suggest that fitting the setup with easy-to-install intelligent sensors and devices offers the opportunity to provide learning about food, sustainability, and a basic understanding of the control and management of biological systems in one package.

Keywords Aquaponics · Sustainability education · Science literacy · Food literacy · Education · Primary school


B. E. Mikkelsen

Integrated Food Studies, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

C. M. Bosire

Department of Learning & Philosophy, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark

© The Author(s) 2019 597

S. Goddek et al. (eds.), Aquaponics Food Production Systems,


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Open Access This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence and indicate if changes were made.

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