Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013
Trout in the Classroom at Slater-Marietta Elementary
The Science Club of Slater-Marietta Elementary School has successfully raised 70 trout from eggs to 1.5 inch long fingerlings. The number of fish to make it to this stage is remarkable for a number of reasons. Trout are difficult fish to raise in a tank due to the need to maintain a consistent water temperature of 55 degrees. "The timing for this program requires long range planning to have success," states co-sponsor of the science club, Jody Childs. Mr. Childs adds, "The eggs for the program are delivered in November. Once they hatch in early December, arrangements have to be made to check the tank over the Winter break and then again in the spring."
While school is in session, the responsibility to monitor and regulate chemical levels in the tank has been the responsibility of the science club students. Co-sponsor Carla Janosky has been impressed with the way in which students have maintained a daily log of water temperature, pH levels and ammonia levels to provide the fish with a healthy environment. "The care that the students have taken in monitoring the fish and applying corrective measures when there was an imbalance has been a powerful learning experience for all of the students involved." Student Science Club members have provided regular updates to their classmates on the progress and maintenance of the fish.
Principal Joshua Morgan said, "Thanks to a lot of dedicated work by the students and sponsors of the Science Club, our Trout in the Classroom program has exceeded everyone’s expectations for a successful program." Other schools that have had less successful experiences will be borrowing fish from Slater-Marietta for their own stream releases over the next few weeks. Slater-Marietta has coordinated with the Department of Natural Resources and Trout Unlimited to release all remaining fish at Table Rock State Park on May 23.