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Implementation of Sustainable Integrated Aquaculture, Aquaponic, and Hydroponic Systems for Egypt's Western Desert Through Global Community Engaged Research

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 5

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Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors

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Lamyaa El-Gabry Princeton University

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Martina Sherin Jaskolski

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This paper presents an international student internship collaboration implemented by students at a US- based and an Egyptian university. The project addresses the need to design and test affordable renewable energy solutions for community based, circular farming models, enhancing food production while saving resources. Students partnered to study aquaponic and hydroponic growing systems and to construct a solar-powered aquaponic system for a real-life oasis community in Egypt’s Western Desert. The greenhouse-based solution was tailored to match the capacity of a mechanical wind pump built and tested by a previous internship cohort in 2018 and further developed in a senior thesis project at the US-University. Participating students worked with faculty internship supervisors, experts, and engineers in Egypt who implemented the system with local farmers. Students remained engaged in fieldwork through online meetings, updates from on-site, recorded interviews with local farmers and time lapse videos. In addition, students received solar-powered hydroponics and aquaponics kits, which they built and tested by growing plants of their choice. This home experiment gave students practical engineering experience and a perspective on the challenges of intensive, circular growing. An app was developed for recording data including water consumption, water quality, plant, and fish growth. Students met regularly during the internship via Zoom and participated in lectures, debates, group work, social games and cultural exchanges, in addition to supporting the installation in the Western Desert and getting their in-home kits working. Integrating online learning with hands-on experiential learning and real life, community-based engineering challenges facilitated international internship experiences without physical travel. Student experiences were evaluated through feedback forms and compared to the 2018 face-to-face version of the program. The impact on the community is evaluated qualitatively through interviews and quantitatively when data is available.

Submitted to: ASEE 2021 Annual Conference – Community Engagement Division

El-Gabry, L., & Jaskolski, M. S. (2021, July), Implementation of Sustainable Integrated Aquaculture, Aquaponic, and Hydroponic Systems for Egypt's Western Desert Through Global Community Engaged Research Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37299

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