Connecting Students with their Watersheds
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.
Valley Forge Trout Unlimited sponsors TIC programs in the following schools:
Abraham Lincoln High School
Church Farm School
Downingtown High School East
Downingtown High School West
Greenwood Elementary School
Hopewell Elementary School
Nottingham Elementary School
Octorora High School
Pickering Valley Elementary School
Pocopson Elementary School
Radnor Middle School
Strath Haven Middle School
Tredyffrin-Easttown Middle School
Valley Forge Middle School
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.
Trout In The Classroom Makes A Splash
Published by Dave Kile on 06/06/2017
All students across the country get a chance to learn about biology and environmental sciences when attending middle school. However, the students at Tredyffrin/Easttown Middle School (TEMs) have the unique opportunity to actually go beyond the regular curriculum with raising trout in their classroom.
The program is led by Mr. Gordon Davis, 7th English/8th science teacher at TEMS. The Trout in the Classroom program at TEMS is supported by the PA Fish and Boat Commission, PA Council of Trout Unlimited and Valley Forge Trout Unlimited.
Along with raising the trout, students learn about the importance of cold-water resources throughout their middle school experience. It is a great fit on the heels of the 6th grade curriculum which studies water resources. In addition, they benefit from learning about the chemical factors affecting water quality.
In the beginning of the school year the students learn about the Pennsylvania state fish, the brook trout. Then, when trout eggs arrive in early November, the “eyed” eggs (where the eyeball and spinal cord is visible in the egg) and the trout are raised through the “fingerling” stage, before being released in early May at an approved trout stream.
As part of the program this year, the students visited a trout raceway, owned by the Chester Valley Sportsmen’s Association. Ray Andrews and other members of the association take care of roughly 5,500 rainbow and brook trout prior to stocking, which they receive from the Carlisle state hatchery.
“Students were able to see a real-world connection to the trout care we practice in the classroom and also study the behaviors of mature trout,” said Mr. Davis
The students are involved in an in-depth program raising the trout that includes exploring YouTube videos posted by anglers which highlight trout fishing across the state. One of the most popular activities this year occurred when the program partner from Valley Forge Trout Unlimited, Dave Dickens, visited to discuss his life spent trout fishing.
The program has enjoyed outstanding support from the school district, community and parents, and is very well known by many. “Mr. Davis is a wonderful teacher and my daughter is tremendously excited about the program,” shared Melissa Kennedy of Berwyn.
For many years Mr. Davis has been enthusiastically supported by the PA TIC program director, Amidea Daniel. He was extremely grateful to the PTO for their support in purchasing materials needed for trout; our Principal, Andy Phillips, for his support of our program; our VFTU representative, Dave Dickens; and our friend, Ray Andrews, for the connections through TIC.
Trout In the Classroom is a partnership between the PA Fish and Boat Commission and PA Council of Trout Unlimited. It was created to introduce students to cold-water resources and the importance of maintaining healthy streams. The partnership provides brook trout eggs, trout food, technical assistance, curriculum connections and teacher workshops each year.
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