Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is an environmental education program in which students in grades k-12 . . .
- raise trout from eggs to fry.
- monitor tank water quality.
- engage in stream habitat study.
- learn to appreciate water resources.
- begin to foster a conservation ethic.
- grow to understand ecosystems.
Most programs end the year by releasing their trout in a state-approved stream near the school or within a nearby watershed.
During the year each teacher tailors the program to fit his or her curricular needs. Therefore, each program is unique. TIC has interdisciplinary applications in science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, fine arts, and physical education. In each state, Trout in the Classroom is funded by a number of generous supporters and made more rich through varied partnerships.
Currently, the Clear Fork River Chapter sponsors a half dozen TIC programs in area schools. It takes about $1,000 to set up a trout-rearing tank, with most of the cost going toward a water chiller (trout like cold water). The cost for subsequent years is minimal once all equipment is on hand after the first year. The program begins in January when classrooms receive fertilized rainbow or brown trout eggs from an Ohio Division of Wildlife fish hatchery and ends when trout fingerlings are released into a stream (usually Apple Creek in Wooster) in May. On the day of the release, kids learn about stream ecology and sample the stream for aquatic macroinvertebrates, the insects and their relatives that trout feed on when living in the stream. They also clean up trash from the stream.
The chapter can direct interested teachers to funding sources so that equipment can be purchased.
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