Fish playing a role in education at local schools

BRISTOL/LINCOLN — Trout in the Classroom (TIC), an environmental education program found in 4,300 schools across the country, is becoming increasingly popular in Vermont. Through TIC, students raise brook trout from eggs before releasing them in a local stream.
In 2012, five Vermont schools had tanks in which trout were being raised. A year later, that number grew to 11. In 2014, 18 schools were engaged in Trout in the Classroom. This year, more than 40 schools, including schools in Bristol and Lincoln — will host trout tanks.
The essential aspects of the program are learning about early trout development, monitoring tank water chemistry, and maintaining water quality. While TIC requires a focus on science, it also has applications in many other subjects, including mathematics, social studies, language arts, technology, and fine arts. Programs provide students opportunities to learn about trout anatomy, habitat, life cycle, and food; study streams and how they work; collect and classify stream insects; and analyze water quality. As a result, students come to understand ecosystems, appreciate water resources, and begin to acquire a conservation ethic.
Two teachers, Mikaela Frank and Mollie Sprague, are starting the TIC program at Lincoln Community School. Samantha Kayhart will start the program at Mount Abraham Union High School, according to Joe Mark, lead facilitator for TIC.

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