Friday, June 3, 2016

Trout Releases Going Full Steam!

Good times releasing trout this week with Belle Sherman 5th grade, Enfield 4th and Union Springs 6th. “I think that we should keep on having trout because it is fun and very exciting to watch the fish grow up. 'Jaws' is 14 cm long now. He is the biggest trout that Mr. O has ever had in his class.” -Ethan Z. AJ Smith Elementary

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

More Results from Dryden Elementary, Groton Middle School, and Newfield Middle School!

For one of the classes at Groton we did a little side experiment and compared the amount of daphnia eaten by smaller trout compared to the larger trout and the preliminary results did indicate that the smaller trout ate more.

Groton Middle Schoolers posing for a post experiment photo-op

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

First Live Food Experiment!

Classes are now experimenting to see if their young trout- 2 or 3 centimeters in length now- will eat live food, like they would need to do in the wild. 

Our class visits start with an introduction to our test organism, a small crustacean called Daphnia.  Above, instructor Maria Mahaney leads an observation process designed to access students' stored knowledge and combine it with direct observation to form hypothesis about what these organisms are like.

Student research teams each prepare one trout (in 500 ml jar) and get 10 daphnia (test tube) to feed their trout.  Discussion and hypothesis-building happens before the actual experiment.

Finally, our experiment happens.  It only take five minutes of intense observation, teamwork and careful recording of data.  Results of this test often raise more questions than they answer, but that's just fine.  Below are some results for several schools- each chart represents the combined results of 6-10 student teams.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Two-Headed Alevin!

Students at Caroline Elementary discovered a rare two-headed trout alevin today.  We occasionally see these Siamese twins... we'll see how long this little one survives.

"If the two-headed trout becomes a fingerling,
I call carrying it out to the creek."
- Everett, from Mrs. Beigel's 4th grade. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

2015 Trout in the Classroom Underway

Trout in the Classroom for the 2015-2016 school year is officially underway!  Brown trout eggs were delivered to Enfield, Belle Sherman, South Hill, BJM, Caroline, Cayuga Heights and Fall Creek Elementary schools in Ithaca, AJ Smith Elementary in Union Springs, and Newfield & Groton Middle Schools, on Monday, October 19!  Brook trout eggs are anticipated for the remaining schools the week of November 16..

 "Eyed" egg, ready to hatch, viewed under classroom document projector.

  Newly hatched trout "alevin" with yolk sack. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Flow Charting at Caroline Elementary

One of the great things about Trout in the Classroom is the broad range of day-to-day applications it can support.   Anna Chapman, at Caroline Elementary, recently took advantage of her students' aquarium monitoring responsibilities to practice creating a flow chart with her class.  Very cool!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Aquaponics at Cayuga Heights

They're growing some giant trout at Cayuga Heights Elementary this year, but all that eating means the trout are creating quite a bit of waste.  Over the past few weeks, the water have been getting cloudy, and waste has been starting to build up.  Regular water tests by the students indicates high ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and increasingly acidic water! 

Of course, in a natural system, there is no unused waste, and nitrogen compounds are normally used by plants.  As luck would have it, the 4th grades at CHES are just completing their "Structures of Life" unit, which involves growing and studying seeds.  So, on Friday, April 17, we started an aquaponics project on the Cayuga Heights Elementary trout aquarium with help form Planted Earth Hydroponics of Ithaca!  The waste produced by our trout will feed a small garden on top of the tank!

Students plant beans and peas sprouted during "Structures of Life"
into ceramic growing medium.
April 20 - After three days, the filtering action of the hydroponics media
(in the black tray) seems to be clarifying the water.  Sprouts are taking off,
April 23 (day 6) - Water continues to clear.  Ammonia and Nitrite have decreased
from 10ppm to nearly zero.  Be amazed; we are!
 Stay tuned for updates!