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Teachers Wanted for Trout in the Classroom Program!

February 18, 2011

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is inviting teachers to incorporate an exciting and inexpensive program that is enlivening year-round curriculums throughout New Jersey into their classrooms. To date, 111 schools and more than 14,000 students in the Garden State are participating in the Trout in the Classroom program! (See Trout In the Classroom - South Jersey Slideshow Presentation, pdf, 3.4mb)

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a science-based program that teaches children about the importance of coldwater conservation through a hands-on approach to learning. Schools across New Jersey receive brook trout eggs in mid-October from the division's Pequest Trout Hatchery in Warren County. Students then hatch and raise these trout, monitor water quality, learn fish biology and anatomy, and much more. At the end of the school year, the trout are released into selected approved streams.

Raising trout is a hands-on activity that engages students and helps to connect them to real-life water quality and fish and wildlife issues and problems, and inspires them to seek solutions. Watching fish hatch from eggs and develop from fry to fingerlings generates enthusiasm among students, and helps them develop caring attitudes about fish species and their habitats, as well as a conservation ethic.

The TIC program has interdisciplinary applications in science, social studies, fine arts, mathematics and language arts, and is unique in that it allows teachers to tailor the program to fit their curricular needs. There is an activity guide provided for teachers that is correlated to NJ State Science Core Curriculum Standards at the middle school level, however, classes ranging from preschool through college levels are also participating in the program.

Start up cost for the Trout in the Classroom program is approximately $1,200.00. This covers all equipment needed to provide a healthy river-like ecosystem for the fry. Equipment includes a tank, chiller, aerator, filter, tank stand and habitat materials. After the first major purchase; the program will cost approximately $50.00 a year.

Teachers interested in becoming involved with TIC for the 2011 - 2012 school year should act now. Tanks must be set up and running by the middle of September, which is why schools interested in participating need to start planning now.

The Trout in the Classroom program is made possible in New Jersey through a partnership between the Division of Fish and Wildlife and the conservation organization Trout Unlimited.

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Last Updated: February 18, 2011