Aquaculture Research Center
Kentucky State University
EVALUATION OF PROJECT-BASED LEARNING PROGRAMS IN AQUACULTURE: A QUALITIVE STUDY OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ LEARNING
The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to identify the impact of three separate mentor-guided, project-based learning programs with foci on aquaculture as perceived by high school students.
This case study attempted to explore the experiences, perceptions, and attitudes of students and their intrinsic desire to learn more about STEM-related fields and careers when exposed to hands-on/minds-on, aquaculture projects (activities) located at Kentucky State University’s Aquaculture Research Center in Frankfort, Kentucky. Students were engaged in real-world aquaculture environments such as learning how to construct, size, and troubleshoot a small-scale backyard aquaponics system, water quality management, and fish nutrition research. The data-gathering techniques included field observations, written questionnaires, journal reflections, and in-depth interviews with participants about insights learned as a result of their participation.