HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.

4th Edition of
World Aquaculture and Fisheries Conference

June 24-26, 2024 | Paris, France
WAC 2024

J L Giovanna Hesley

J L Giovanna Hesley, Speaker at Aquaculture Conferences
CropKing, Inc. Curriculum Development, United States
Title : Cultivating young minds for sustainable aquaculture careers: the impact of a five-shelf tower garden


Ms. Hesley will discuss the captivating world of aquaculture and sustainable food systems through the innovative five-shelf tower garden. This interactive educational tool introduces young minds to the principles of aquaponics, blending fish farming with hydroponics in a closed-loop system. The tower's five tiers showcase the various stages and components of aquaponics, from the fish tank and deep water culture to nutrient film and sprouts shelves. Engaging workshops and hands-on experiences foster an appreciation for environmental stewardship and healthy eating habits. Moreover, this unique approach inspires young individuals to pursue rewarding careers in aquaculture, addressing global challenges and shaping a brighter future for sustainable agriculture. Join us in cultivating a generation of environmentally conscious enthusiasts, ready to make a positive impact in the world of aquaculture.

Introduction: the five-shelf tower garden, an interactive aquaponics setup, holds the potential to inspire young minds towards aquaculture and sustainable food systems. Engaging young people in this experience is crucial for fostering a new generation of environmentally conscious individuals and encouraging them to pursue rewarding careers in aquaculture.

The five-shelf tower garden: the tower garden is a dynamic educational tool that demonstrates the principles of aquaponics in five distinct tiers:

1.Sump: the tower's foundation, where water is collected for continuous nutrient circulation.

2.Fish tank: housing fish, this component showcases the importance of water quality and sustainable aquaculture practices.

3.Deep water culture (dwc) shelf: featuring plant roots suspended in nutrient-rich water, this shelf demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between fish and plants.

4.Nutrient film technique (nft) shelf: with nutrient-rich water flowing over plant roots, learners discover space-efficient hydroponic techniques.

5.Sprouts shelf: the topmost level presents sprouts and young plants, highlighting the rewarding outcomes of sustainable farming.

Engaging the youth: Engagement with young individuals is vital to promote their interest in aquaculture and encourage future careers in this field:

1.Hands-on experience: involving young learners in setting up and maintaining the tower garden provides practical knowledge and instills a sense of accomplishment.

2.Interactive learning: through workshops and demonstrations, educators make aquaponics science accessible and fascinating to young minds.

3.Steam education: the tower garden serves as a living laboratory for interdisciplinary learning, incorporating science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (steam) concepts.

4.Environmental awareness: by showcasing the tower garden's closed-loop system, young learners develop a deeper understanding of sustainability and water conservation.

5.Healthier food choices: observing the growth of fresh, nutritious produce encourages healthier eating habits and reinforces the link between food sources and a balanced diet.

Inspiring aquaculture careers: By engaging young minds in aquaponics and sustainable practices, we can cultivate a passion for aquaculture, leading to potential careers in the field:

1.Early exposure: Introducing aquaculture concepts at a young age sparks curiosity and lays the foundation for future career interests.

2.Promoting innovation: Encouraging creativity in sustainable farming methods can inspire young people to develop novel solutions for the industry.

3.Addressing global challenges: Young aquaculture professionals can contribute to solving food security and environmental issues through sustainable practices.

4.Building stewardship: Engaging in aquaculture education fosters a sense of responsibility and environmental stewardship among young learners.

5.Career diversity: Aquaculture offers a wide range of career paths, from aquaponics specialists to marine biologists and fish farm managers, providing diverse opportunities for young enthusiasts.

Utilizing the five-shelf tower garden as an educational tool is an effective way to ignite interest in aquaculture among young people. By fostering hands-on experiences, promoting environmental awareness, and inspiring careers in the field, we empower the next generation to become passionate advocates for sustainable aquaculture, shaping a brighter and more resilient future for our planet and its inhabitants.


Ms. Hesley studied Education at Arizona State University, USA, and graduated with a Master's of Education in 1997. She taught STEM to K-8 students. She received her Master of Science degree in 2015 at the University of Arizona in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. After three years of teaching engineering to young students, she became grant writer and curriculum developer for CropKing, Inc., which sells greenhouses, hydroponics, and aquaculture equipment.  Ms. Hesley is now assisting in the development of an alternative high school graduation certificate for Ohio Board of Education.  She has spoken internationally at conferences on the benefits of aquaponics in the classroom