Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level



Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Osborn, G. Scott

Committee Member/Reader

Le, Kieu

Committee Member/Second Reader

Ward, Peggy


Tri Cycle Farms, whose main mission is to reduce food insecurity in their community, is a non- profit urban farm in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The “Tri” in their name refers to the three parts of their foundation: giving a third of their yield to volunteers, giving a third to local food pantries, and selling a third to sustain the farm and demonstrate the economy of local food production. They want to expand on the third part and have a vision of building a hydroponic greenhouse with the intention that it will create more crops to sell and give, as well as provide more educational opportunities for members of the local community. The framework planning for this greenhouse was done in part by Sarah Gould and Laura Gray, as part of their honors theses in 2019 where they designed the internal layout, one hydroponics system, and chose the most profitable crops (Gould, 2019 and Gray, 2019). My objective for this work is to pick up where they left off and design a different hydroponics system to be implemented in the greenhouse. In addition, I will design an educational program for students to experience when they visit the farm. I utilized the engineering design process to size the layout and water return for a system of hydroponics called Shallow-Aero Ebb and Flow (SAEF), which is a new technique that strengthens the root system and is versatile for many plants (Chidiac, 2018). I then used this technical information to begin Tri Cycle’s mission of “grow growers and farm farmers” to produce a method to communicate to elementary-age students. I created a plan for an interactive prototype to demonstrate relevant principles of the SAEF system that includes an activity and reflection sheet for students to complete after the tour. The educational goals I used to create the module were set by the Arkansas K-4 Science Standards (Arkansas Department of Education, 2016) and were applied to a lesson to teach students that hydroponics is a viable solution for improving food sustainability. Tri Cycle can use these plans for the implementation of their hydroponic house and educational outreach.


Hydroponics, Sustainable Agriculture, Science Education, Environmental Engineering, Sustainability