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Trout in the Classroom

by Jamie Bryant, Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications
 
Ms. Overstreet’s 6th Grade Science Classes are raising trout this school year from eggs to fingerlings, responsible for everything from daily care to maintenance of the fish. 
 
On November 29th, 2021, 100 trout eggs were delivered to the 6th grade science lab by volunteers with Trout Unlimited.  The SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) sponsors the educational program known as Trout in the Classroom.  The goal is for students to set up and maintain a trout aquarium that mimics the mountain streams of the Appalachia, and raise the eggs to the fingerling stage.  On April 6th, the tiny trout will be released at Table Rock State Park under the supervision of representatives from Trout Unlimited and the DNR.
 
Students work in daily shifts to test nitrogen based components in the aquarium (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrites) as well as pH and water temperature.  All of these tests ensure the aquarium water is balanced and ideal living conditions for the trout are maintained.  Students also feed the trout, clean the tank, and execute daily water changes.  A log is kept so that poor water conditions can be spotted immediately and changes implemented to help the trout survive.  
 
“As part of the 6th grade science curriculum we are guided to teach water quality, resources, human impact, and weather,” said Ms. Overstreet.  “All of these components intertwine with the trout experience.”  Trout are an indicator species for water quality.  Consequently, students learn the influences that affect the natural environment where trout live (freshwater streams), and realize the impact they can make in the environment around them.  In the end, they gain both book knowledge and hands on experience in helping maintain a native species.  
 
Trout in the Classroom is one way to nurture a love a nature, and drive students forward with the knowledge that they can make a difference in taking care of the Earth for future generations.
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