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National Agriculture in the Classroom

Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix

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Lesson Plans (4)

Exploring Aquaponics (Grades 3-5)

The students will identify the basic needs of plants and fish and engineer, assemble, maintain, and observe a small-scale aquaponics system that meets plant and fish needs.

Exploring Aquaponics (Grades K-2)

The students will identify the basic needs of plants and fish and engineer, assemble, maintain, and observe a small-scale aquaponics system that meets plant and fish needs.

Test Tube Hydroponics

Students will investigate the importance of nutrients for plant growth and discover how plants grow without soil by growing and observing plants in a test tube hydroponic system.

What? No Soil?
After learning the five basic requirements of plant growth, students discuss terms related to hydroponics. Students then build and maintain hydroponic units from soda bottles.

Companion Resources (8)

Test Tube Hydroponics Kit
Investigate the importance of nutrients for plant growth and discover how plants grow without soil. Use this kit to grow and observe plants in a test tube hydroponic system. Kit includes rock wool, seed-starter trays, soybean seeds, plant tags, test tubes, and pipettes for 35 students. The Test Tube Hydroponics Kit complements the lesson Test Tube HydroponicsOrder this kit online from 
'Martian' Food video
Show your students a neat application of hydroponics and climate controlled greenhouses with this video teaching about the NASA-funded research taking place at the University of Arizona. The goal of this research is to discover a successful method for food to be grown in space.
How Do You Grow a Fish Sandwich? Video
Have you heard of hydroponics or aquaculture? In this video from the Gee Whiz in Agriculture series, you get a fish-eye view of fish and lettuce production in an ecologically-closed system. We look at plant and fish life cycles, showing how each is dependent upon the other for nourishment. Concepts of symbiotic life systems, chemical and nutrient cycling, and integrated food production are highlighted. A "model ecosystem" can be used to demonstrate concepts, both in the program and the classroom. This video is available on DVD or YouTube. Order this video online from
How Does it Grow? Video Series
This video series follows food from farm to fork. Learn more about potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, cranberries, garlic, cauliflower, spinach, oranges and more. These videos are a great way to introduce secondary students to food science, cooking, and to increase understanding of the source of our food.
Programming Sun and Rain

On the cramped urban campus of Boston Latin School, students grow an acre’s worth of vegetables in an old shipping container that’s been transformed into a computer-controlled hydroponic farm. Using a wall-mounted keyboard or a mobile app, the student farmers can monitor their crops, tweak the climate, make it rain and schedule sunrise. Use this article to illustrate an example of hydroponics, the use of technology in agriculture, and/or urban farming.

The Future of Farming & Agriculture video
Farming is being revolutionized by a technological wave. This 12-minute video highlights technological advancements in both animal and plant agriculture. Learn how drones, robots, GPS systems, hydroponics, vertical farming systems, and more can help grow and harvest crops more efficiently. You can also see tools used in livestock production such as activity monitors, thermal imaging tools, and 3-D imaging which assist farmers in keeping their animals healthy.
This High-Tech Farm Grows Kale in a Factory
Visit a vertical farm, Bowery Farming. The farm is a piece of proprietary software that makes most of the critical decisions -- like when to harvest and how much to water each plant. It still takes humans to carry out many tasks around the farm. Will robots change the need for farm laborers?
Vertical Farming video
Use this 4-minute video to explore the benefits and challenges to vertical farming systems which utilize hydroponics to grow plants. Can the land and water conservation advantages outweigh the cost of creating artificial light?