Teachers’ Pet: Trout in the Classroom

first_imgWhen you were in grade school, odds are you had a classroom pet at some point—maybe a gerbil, a hamster, or even a rabbit if you were lucky. Students took turns taking care of the pet, feeding it, changing its dirty cage and so on as a way to garner a sense of responsibility and leadership. In Henry County in southern Virginia, they do something a little different in regards to having a class pet: instead of a small mammal in a cage, they have a cold water tank with dozens of fingerling trout.The Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program was started over 20 years ago by several organizations, most notably Trout Unlimited, as a way for teachers to introduce more environmental themes into their curriculum. Classrooms are equipped with a tank, water chiller, filter, and trout eggs from a local hatchery. Throughout the year, the students witness the development of the trout from egg to fry to fingerling while monitoring their progress by collecting data, regulating feeding, and examining water quality. The final step is a field trip to a local trout river where the fingerlings are released.Through the efforts of Martinsville orthodontist Dr. David Jones, who put up a significant sum of his own money to get the project off the ground. TIC was brought to southwest Virginia in 2005. It has since grown into one of the single largest programs in the country. This year, for the first time, the TIC program is raising all three species of Virginia trout – brook, brown, and rainbow – in 38 classroom tanks spread across six counties in Virginia and North Carolina. Through the program, students not only learn about a trout’s lifecycle, but the ecosystem as well.“We use the whole thing to teach water quality, protection of natural resources, and good stewardship of environment,” says Brian Williams, one of Henry County TIC’s founders and program manager at the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA).As an indicator species, trout are a marker of a healthy watershed, something TIC instills in participating students with a hands-on approach. By taking ownership of the trout, they connect the dots between a healthy river system, the environment, and their community. DRBA Education Outreach Coordinator Krista Hodges sees this didactic experience firsthand each time she enters a TIC classroom.“The kids are really interested in taking care of the trout, but when they actually release them into the river they are really concerned about their trout,” she said.She tells one story of a release day when the kids spotted a great blue heron upstream from where they were putting the trout in the water. The students became very concerned about the safety of their fish, demonstrating the links between predators, prey, and the ecosystem they learned in class.The TIC program incorporates many different lessons besides the science and watershed education, including fine arts and social studies. Students write in journals about their experiences, illustrate ideal trout habitats, use mathematics to calculate feeding charts and survival rates, and study government and the history of the Smith and Dan rivers to examine why they are suitable as a trout ecosystem. All these lessons are geared toward the Standards of Learning test guidelines, so teachers do not have to choose between hands-on learning and helping their students succeed in the eyes of the state. The larger impact of the program on high-risk students has been dramatic, and cannot be understated, says Williams.“Every year we have stories where teachers say they had a student who was falling through the cracks, failing grades, not coming to class or something,” he said. “Then they get interested in Trout in the Classroom and start coming in, feeding the trout, taking care of them, and grades change and turn around. You never know how you’re going to affect that one kid or a whole school.”Williams says they have more requests for tanks from teachers and administrators than they can fill, a testament to the reputation of the TIC program. The DRBA and Trout Unlimited add to the excitement of release day by inviting political figures to witness the event; former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and Senator Mark Warner are among those who have participated, and last year’s release was attended by NASCAR superstar Jimmy Johnson. The promise of a big event at the end of the project is a major motivator for the kids and is just another aspect of TIC that keeps them engaged in learning. By instilling a solid base on which to build a broader awareness of conservation and pride in a healthy environment and community, TIC reaches beyond just the classroom to, hopefully, become a way of life.“When we first started, some kids didn’t even know the name of the Smith River that ran through their town, much less what a macro invertebrate is,” Williams said. “Now, just about every kid in Henry County and the surrounding counties has been exposed to water quality, macro invertebrates, trout, the habitat, all the things the river needs to stay healthy and clean, and that’s our objective.”Want to catch more trout? Check out our Guide’s Guide to Southern Trout!last_img read more

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Richards sizzles at Thomas County

first_imgTerry Richards led every time around the track in winning the Friday night United Rebel Sprint Series Summer Sizzler Week feature at Thomas County Speedway.COLBY, Kan. (July 7) – Terry Richards put in a dominating performance as he led every lap of night two of the Summer Sizzler Week for the United Rebel Sprint Series at Thomas County Speed­way.The 25-lapper ran green to checkered. Jake Martens charged past Scott Rhoades for second at the halfway mark and began reeling in Richards but fell short of reaching his back bumper.The win was Richards’ URSS first. Zach Blurton made a late-race charge of his own to capture third, followed by Rhoades and Mark Walinder to complete the top five.Thirty-one cars vied.Feature results – 1. Terry Richards; 2. Jake Martens; 3. Zach Blurton; 4. Scott Rhoades; 5. Mark Wal­inder; 6. J.D. Johnson; 7. Patrick Bourke; 8. Nick Haygood; 9. Darren Berry; 10. Ty Williams; 11. Steven Richardson; 12. Todd Plemons; 13. Nate Berry; 14. Shane Sundquist; 15. Scott Cochran; 16. Buddy Tubbs; 17. Jed Werner; 18. Bob Schaeffer; 19. Coby Pearce; 20. Tracy Hill.last_img read more

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Lakers keep getting hit with injuries, as Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala sit

first_imgOnly Caldwell-Pope has not missed a game for the Lakers this season. Walton gave his players credit for staying professional in the midst of even more lineup uncertainty caused by the latest injuries.“Whatever lineups we’re putting out there, they’re giving what they have,” Walton said. “That’s the No. 1 thing.”Caruso stock rising?Among the motivations for the Lakers at this point in the season, looking for work is high on the list. No one might’ve done himself more favors in that department than Alex Caruso, who has averaged 6 points and shot nearly 53 percent from 3-point range since becoming a rotation regular for the Lakers.The two-way contract player said he’s hoping that he can be a full-time player in the league next season, and he’s gotten credit from teammates for his play. Walton said although Caruso struggled Friday night against the Nets on offense, he thought the Texas A&M product has consistently brought a useful competitive effort.“Small sample size,” Walton said. “But right now the way he’s playing, he could definitely help teams win ball games.” LOS ANGELES – As poorly as the season has gone for the Lakers so far, what’s a few more injuries to the pile?The Lakers found themselves in familiar position, able to play LeBron James but with a number of other late-breaking injuries that limited what Coach Luke Walton could do with his lineups. In addition to Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, the Lakers played without Reggie Bullock (right plantar fascitis), Mike Muscala (foot tendinitis) and Josh Hart (knee tendinitis).Muscala attempted to warm up before being Walton said he heard of Bullock’s injury in the afternoon meeting hours before tip-off, getting a text from team trainer Marco Nunez.“Well, it’s the same message over,” Walton said. “Unfortunately we’re getting used to giving that message, but he’s down. We gotta step up.” Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers The Lakers have not played Hart since Tuesday’s game in Milwaukee, after which Hart said a platelet-rich injection earlier this season failed to help his tendinitis. The team has acknowledged that Hart is working with the medical staff to figure out his approach to the remainder of the season, which may include shutting down, but Walton said more information would be available later in the week.James took a spill late in Friday’s game against the Nets that he initially said might be a concern, but Walton said the Lakers star was fully ready to play.“(LeBron) respects and loves the game,” he said. “So if he’s gonna play, he’s gonna give what he has.”Tyson Chandler again was healthy for his second straight game, while Lance Stephenson checked in for the first time after seven straight absences. Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersKentavious Caldwell-Pope started in Bullock’s place.Related Articlescenter_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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