Professional Development

6th Annual Aquaculture Challenge Program

Registration/Application Deadline: January 11, 2021
Event Dates: 1/11-4/9/2021
Event location: Virtual
Intended Audience: 8-12th grade educators and students

The 6th annual Aquaculture Challenge program is a competitive science competition in which teams of students, ranging from 8th-12th grade, design and create an aquaponics system, and submit everything virtually. The competition is composed of three parts with NEW CHANGES for the 2021 competition.

  1. Design and create a tabletop (200ft3 or less) aquaponics system,
  2. Monitor the system, and
  3. Complete an outreach project, a research project, or a business plan.

In previous years, student teams were provided a free Arduino control board and corresponding probes as well as a water chemistry monitoring kit; however, this year, we are offering a $250 stipend for participating teams to build and monitor their systems. Returning and new teams will be eligible for this stipend. 

The dates and an overview of the competition can be found here, and below. The team rules manual with detailed information about the competition is here. Registering a team is free and easy. Simply click here and fill out the required information. Registration is open now and closes on January 11th, or when 25 teams or more are registered.  Teams can work on the competition as part of a class or as an after-school activity. Multiple teams can register per school, and teams can also register as part of an after-school club or other academic related organization. Additional information about this competition and aquaculture in the classroom can be found at www.ncrac-yea.org.   

General Timeline of Events

  • October 31st: Registration Opens
  • November 11th – January 9th: Asynchronous Coach Check-In 1a – A Google Classroom training that introduces the challenge and team requirements
  • December 7th or January 11th: Coach Zoom Check-In 1b – Live coach training to review google classroom unit. Only attend one.
  • January 11th: Team Registration Deadline
  • January 11th – January 22nd: Milestone 2 Check-In – Teams check in with liaison
  • January 18th, 4:30PM-5:30PM: Virtual Open House and Team Meet and Greet
  • February 22nd – March 5th: Milestone 3 Check-In – Teams check in with liaison
  • April 9th: Due Date for Submissions
  • April 16th: Virtual Ceremony

Additional Details

Target audience: 8-12th grade educators and students
Cost? Stipend? Travel costs? Credits?: There is a $250 stipend for participating teams to build and monitor their systems. Returning and new teams will be eligible for this stipend. 
For more information: If there are any questions, please reach out to Elliot Nelson, MI Sea Grant and MSU Extension ([email protected]). 

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Application Materials

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