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Trout in the Classroom Early Release
Grier Life Science students released their classroom rainbow trout into the McClain Run of the Little Juniata River in Huntingdon County. In February, Grier’s Life Science class welcomed 257 rainbow trout eggs to their classroom in the Science building as part of the Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom (PATIC) program.
Typically, the students release the trout in late April, but this batch received an early release after their carbon filter burst, creating poor water conditions in their classroom aquarium. Mrs. Fernandes explained that survival rate depends on how well the class can maintain the water quality and on the stress level of the fish within the classroom’s closed system. “Raising trout is very difficult to do,” Mrs. Fernandes writes, “ because they are so intolerant to pollution.”
PATIC is made possible by the PA Fish and Boat Commission, Trout Unlimited, and Grier’s program partner, Bill Anderson, president of the Little Juniata River Association. Grier students were able to participate in the program this year due to a generous donation to the Science Department for STEM projects.
Through Grier’s Trout in the Classroom unit students not only learn about the fish and their adaptations, but also the fragility of ecosystems are and why it is important to be a good steward of the Earth and how to simultaneously enjoy and protect these coldwater ecosystems. Although the baby trout visit at Grier was a shortened one this year, it was still a valuable learning experience for Grier’s seventh grade Life Science students.
In honor of Pennsylvania trout and National Poetry Month, Grier English teacher Ms. Lawler shared with us a poem titled The Fish by American poet Elizabeth Bishop.