BRIGHTON — Two seventh graders at Bromley East Charter School have been recognized for their science projects at the Denver Metro Regional Science Fair March 5 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Grace Eisenach received first place in the plants division for her science project comparing aquaponics to hydroponics and Kiran Green was recognized by representatives of the United States Army for her project testing the affects of global warming on the growth of fish. Eisenach received a $25 scholarship and will go on to participate in the state fair in April.
With the support of her science teacher Aaron Tate, Eisenach explored aquaponics against hydroponics. She describes aquaponics as a self-sustaining system with plants at the top and fish at the bottom and explained that water is pumped up to the plants and then drains back into the water. She said aquaponics is the same as hydroponics but without the fish and fish waste that can be used as fertilizer for the plants.
“I did it over a period of eight weeks and overall, everything was about the same, except for the lettuce in the aquaponics system was much taller than all of the others because I think it liked the nitrogen cycle the best,” she said.
Eisenach said the best part of the project was going to regionals because she got to tell people about her project and aquaponics.
Green had been reading about global warming and discovered a theory online that water temperature affects the way things grow and wanted to know if it applied to fish. She set up her test with a controlled environment at room temperature and environments at both 15 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius.
“I did this experiment for about six weeks. I fed (them) and took temperatures every day and I found that the fish in the warmer water gained about 108 percent of their original body mass and the ones in the colder water only gained about 32 percent of their original body mass,” she said, adding she was able to conclude that warmer water temperatures makes fish grow faster.
Tate said Eisenach and Green came up with some high caliber projects. Over the years he’s found that judges at the regional science fairs tend to appreciate projects that have sustainability in mind.
“I’m not surprised that these two projects gained a little bit of attention. They seem to every year whenever they focus on the environment,” he said, adding that his student’s projects also have a real world application.
Both Eisenach and Green would like to participate in the science fair again next year. Eisenach would like to expand upon her project and try a new aquaponics system where she could incorporate fish that can be eaten such as tilapia. Green said she would like to do a different project next year.