Systems Thinking for Sustainable Future

Teaching & Engagement, 2017


This project provides an opportunity for youth to develop system-thinking skills by understanding how food, energy and water systems are interconnected. Undergraduate students from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Engineering will design and develop aquaponics system kits as well as lesson plan trainings and implement the project in K-12 schools in rural Nebraska. They will use a train-the-trainer model to prepare middle school educators and high school students to implement the plan in their school system. The youth will develop systems thinking skills by understanding how food, energy, and water systems are highly interconnected in our complex world.


Ashu Guru (PI), University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Jennifer Keshwani (Co-PI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Engineering, Biomedical Engineer
Maria Rosario Guzman (Co-PI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Education and Human Science, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies
Jeyamkodan Subbiah (Co-PI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Food Science and Technology
Dhundy Bastola (Co-PI), University of Nebraska at Omaha, Biomedical Informatics
Hongfeng Yu (Co-PI), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Computer Science


Jeff Cole, Beyond School Bells
Mark Pegg, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, School of Natural Resources
Kenneth Roche, Research Agronomist
Deane Nelson, Nebraska City Middle School, Science Teacher

Contact: Ashu Guru,