Trout in the Classroom
Trout in the Classroom is a leading environmental education program that teaches students from elementary to college how to raise trout from eggs to fingerlings, monitor water quality, engage in stream habitat study, appreciate water resources, and foster a conservation ethic.
LIVE! Brook trout tank streaming at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville, Virginia
The History of Trout in the Classroom
TIC was established in Henry County in 2005 by Dr. David Jones, a local Orthodontist and life member of Trout Unlimited. Dr. Jones understood the importance of educating our youth in conservation and stream protection. According to Dr. Jones, "It's not really so much about the fish as it is about excitement in education, a whole new way of learning and exposing kids to conservation issues. There's no subject they can't relate to Trout in the Classroom."
In 2006, Brian Williams became a volunteer coordinator for the TIC program and began building the number of tanks and developing the way TIC was implemented in local schools. Volunteers like Wayne Kirpatrick, a certified Virginia Stream Monitor and DRBA board member were key to the continued success and growth of TIC. In 2008 the Dan River Basin Association adopted the highly successful TIC program with continued support from Dr. Jones. TIC has continued to grow in Virginia and North Carolina under the direction of the staff and volunteers of DRBA and it has become one of the largest TIC programs in the country.
In 2011, Krista Hodges was hired as the Education Outreach and TIC Coordinator taking over the primary responsibility for TIC. Krista developed the program further by adding addtional opportunities for teachers and students with educational presentaions directly related to TIC including watershed, life cycle and macro invertebrates. Programs continue to be developed that enhance learning opportuities associated with and connected closely to state learning standards (SOLs) that enhance math, science and language arts curricula for students of all ages.
Students receive trout eggs in the Fall or early Winter and care for them until they become fingerlings, ultimately releasing them in the Spring into a local approved coldwater stream. During the program, students learn to see connections between the trout, water resources, stream environment and themselves. Teachers also tell us that their students show improved behavior and attendance, in addition to increased math, science and language arts skills.
The TIC program is not only educational but also has real environmental impact. Trout are indicator species; their abundance in local rivers directly reflects the quality of the water in which they live. The vision of DRBA and its partner, Trout Unlimited, is to protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and its watersheds. TIC brings this vision directly to the members of this generation by allowing them to discover the wonder of nature for themselves.
Interested in learning more or participating in this program? Interested in volunteering?
To learn more about Trout in the Classroom, please contact Krista Hodges, Education Outreach and Trout in the Classroom Coordinator, at (276) 634-2592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trout in the Classroom Manual
The TIC Manual is a 47 page manual that includes everything from how to set up the entire trout system, how to maintain the system, what to do at release time, and several ideas on curriculum and lesson plans.
Entire list of equipment needed for our TIC program.
Below are two videos that might be helpful when dealing with your tank system. One video focuses on the attachment of the hoses to the chiller. This seems to be the most difficult part for most teachers. The other video explains what to do when changing out a chiller that is no longer working for a new chiller.
Videos & Photo Gallery
Presentations available to schools and groups:
Tub O Bugs
What is a watershed?
Pollution and Solutions
Trout Life Cycle
Smith River Dynamics and Food Web
For lesson plans related to Trout in the Classroom, please visit http://www.troutintheclassroom.org/teachers/lesson-plans.