Front Entrance of Ruth Patrick Science and Education Center

RPSEC Environmental Science Award 2018

Ruth Patrick Science Education Center

Congratulations to Alina Bacal and Kathryn Leverett from Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, Augusta, GA, recipients of the 2018 Ruth Patrick Science and Education Center Environmental Science Award

The 2018 CSRA Regional Science and Engineering Fair was held on March 17 at USC Aiken. There were nearly 200 projects from CSRA schools displayed at the fair. Each year, the RPSEC presents an environmental science award in honor of Dr. Ruth Patrick. Dr. Patrick pioneered work in the study of fresh water ecosystems and developed methods for measuring the health of these systems.

2018 Bacal Leverett 1
2018 Bacal Leverett 2

Title of Project

"Are ammonia and dissolved oxygen levels correlated in an aquaponics system containing trout?"


The purpose of this experiment was to study the use and workings of an aquaponics system. Is there a correlation between dissolved oxygen and ammonia in an aquaponics system? Our hypothesis is that there will be a negative correlation between dissolved oxygen and ammonia levels in an aquaponics system. In the top portion of the system lettuce was being grown, while rainbow trout were being grown in the bottom portion. Throughout the period of time that the experiment was ran, periodically throughout the day the dissolved oxygen and ammonia were being measured using probes, LabQuests, and testing kits. After analyzing the data, it was evident that there was a strong, linear, and negative correlation between the amount of dissolved oxygen and ammonia. The dissolved oxygen and ammonia was shown to be inversely linked to one another in which the results support our hypothesis.