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|Project Title: ||Trout in the Classroom|
|School Year: ||2006|
|School - District:||Oak Hill Middle - Newton|
|Contact Name:||Jonathan Roy|
|Content-Area(s):||Science & Technology|
|Community Need:||Environment, Human-Environment Interaction|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
Our class raised an endangered species of trout from eggs to adulthood using a refrigerated freshwater tank. The children took turns monitoring the tank, logging changes, and maintaining the proper water chemistry. Volunteer members of the class visited a regional fish hatchery, learned directly from the manager about why the state has established such facilities, their mission, etc, and then brought eggs back to our classroom. The students then reported back to the rest of the class/grade through written reports, showing of a video documenting our process, etc. We had hoped to release the surviving fish into the wild before the school year ended, but disease decimated the tank's population in April. Still, the children learned a great deal about human-environment interaction, as well as the properties of water, mixtures/compounds, and parts per million. For more information, please see: http://www.troutintheclassroom.com/
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
Students gained a greater understanding of our impact on the environment, the life cycle, biodiversity, and what we can do to “give back” to the earth in the wake of the negative affects of industrialization. The students will gain a greater appreciation for our natural environment and geography, as well as work with adults who can lead them through the examples of their own enthusiasm about related issues (we will be working with a Massachusetts State Fish Hatchery, a local chapter of the nationwide enthusiast group Trout Unlimited, etc.). Students identified the aforementioned needs through introductory lessons on geography and man's impact on the environment.
|Service Component: |
We educated our peers at school, and hopefully the larger community, about the plight of the trout and similar environmental issues. The children attempted to raise 200+ eggs into fish, hoping to release them into the wild. Thus, we wanted to contribute in both tangible and educational ways. Students from other classes were also invited to view and make observations about our project.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
The students will gain an understanding of the impact that human beings have on their environment through a local issue: the endangerment of wild trout. )Life Science strand 13) Students will record (both scientifically and in narrative form) the trout’s growth from eggs to fry, and then release them in a regional river. Connections will be made to our human growth and development unit, as the kids will have the opportunity to examine eggs in various stages (i.e. embryonic, etc.).
Students will learn about the chemistry of water (which links nicely to our study of groundwater pollution, i.e. the Fruitvale simulation unit) through regular testing of tank samples, as part of the proper maintenance of our coldwater tank. We will explore how urban development, over-fishing, and pollution have impacted our regional natural environment, all while making connections to our contemporary global geography curriculum.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Youth voice could be incorporated in a project like this by charging students with doing the research of the species of trout used in the project. Also, in addition to the articles written for the Oak Hill newsletter, students could write press releases for the local news media in order to promote awareness of the environmental problems being studied.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Our students complete progress reflections on a bi-weekly basis, as well as short writing experiences every morning upon their arrival at school. Therefore, we have structures in place that will help them reflect both on their individual involvement as well as the project as a whole. Writings will be used to facilitate small group and whole class discussions. We also expect to have at least one student write an article in our class’ quarterly newsletter, which is read by students, and mailed to parents and school department staff. Another article will be submitted to the Trout in the Classroom regional newsletter. Similarly, an article will be submitted to the CSL “Good News” newsletter.
|Community Partners Involved: |
A Massachusetts State Fish Hatchery and a local chapter of the nationwide enthusiast group Trout Unlimited.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Weekly updates by the students to their classmates, participation in the NPS CSL showcase event, and sharing of our successes/challenges at a parent open house in June will help us celebrate our project.
|Evaluation of Project’s Impact:|
Success will be determined by assessments made during various curriculum units to test students' abilities to connect the CSL project to state and local standards-based assignments.
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
An unidentified disease, perhaps a fungus, eliminated the tank's population over time. Feeding schedule errors and a filter mechanism that was too strong for the fry caused undue harm. Next year we are confident that we can avoid such errors based on what we learned this time around.
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.