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Monday, February 27, 2012

Trout in the Classroom, Jersey Style!

New Jersey's very successful Trout in the Classroom program is a joint effort between the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife and Trout Unlimited.  There are currently 119 schools participating, reaching over 14,000 Garden State students.  That's quite a testament to the most densely populated state in the country.

This year the state is looking to increase the number of students they reach by enrolling even more schools in the program.  A noble effort to a wonderful program by a state that recognizes the brook trout as their state fish.

Trout in the Classroom is a science-based program that teaches children about conservation with a hands-on approach to learning by not only raising trout from eggs, but by allowing teachers to customize the program to serve learning in the fields of science, social studies, fine arts, mathematics and language arts.

It only costs a school $1,200 to get started with the program and then about $50 per year after that. The initial cost is for some hard equipment like a tank, chiller, aerator, filter, and habitat materials.

“Raising trout is a hands-on activity that engages students and helps to connect them to real-life water quality and fish and wildlife issues and problems, and inspires them to seek solutions,’’ said Dave Chanda, Director of the State Division of Fish and Wildlife. “Watching fish hatch from eggs and develop from fry to fingerlings generates enthusiasm among students, and helps them develop caring attitudes about fish species and their habitats, as well as a conservation ethic.’’

To learn more about the Trout in the Classroom program and helping students develop a conservation ethic visit the NJ Fish & Wildlife website at: http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/tic.htm

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