Andi Twiss

Build and maintain an aquaponics system to learn about nutrient cycling, fish and plant anatomy, energy webs, and more

2021 STEM Scholar
Brooklyn Center, MN New Millennium Academy

Andi’s Big Idea:  Students will partner with a local non-profit to design, build and maintain an aquaponics system. They will meet their academic standards in a comprehensive and effective method: learning by doing – integrating phenomena into their classroom space. Asking questions like:  “How can these plants survive without soil?” “How are these plants surviving indoors?” “How does energy move through this system?” Students will conduct weekly water tests to graph the system health data and learn to communicate their findings to their classmates and other grade levels. This will be a legacy project left behind by the cohort that built it, allowing future cohorts to develop more complex experiments and understandings year over year as they take an interdisciplinary approach (earth science, life science, & physical science).

Interesting facts: Andi is a lover of musicals and travel. Andi’s cat, Tater Tot, is a frequent (and vocal) visitor during her virtual Zoom lessons. 


In her own words: “This project is a priority to guarantee specific, purposeful, and standards-driven science education. After a year of sitting in front of screens, I want to ensure our in-person learning is as dynamic as our learners are! ”