Trout In The Classroom
Trout in the Classroom is the premier education program for Trout Unlimited for students ranging from elementary school age to senior high school. Here in North Carolina, the program is fully supported by the chapters of the North Carolina of Trout Unlimited Council and by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Eggs are supplied by the commission in the fall when classes begin and stocking permits are issued for the release of the trout fry in the spring for waters approved by the Commission.
Teachers in the program have a wealth of information, support and help at their disposal including tank setup and planning guides, curriculum guides, lesson plans and a network of teaching peers that spans not only our state but the entire nation. Trout Unlimited maintains a website ( www.troutintheclassroom.org ) with links to a wide array of resources. In addition, the North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited has a blog set up for the instructors, chapter volunteers and NCWRC staff to act as a clearing house of information and expertise should any questions or issues arise.
Trout in the Classroom is a unique way to teach the relevance of watersheds. Trout are indicator species; and their abundance directly reflects the quality of the water in which they live. In the TIC program, students learn to care about their trout and then the habitat in which trout live.
As the program progresses, students see connections between the trout, water resources, the environment, and themselves. This hands-on, flexible program has won national acclaim and is in place in classrooms internationally. Raising trout in the classroom connects students to water quality and other real-life issues and inspires them to seek solutions to problems
Joyce Shepherd is the Trout in the Classroom committee chair and program coordinator for the state council and can answer all your question on how to get started, and how to find a local chapter to assist you with the program. For those who have helped with a classroom program and been present at the release, there can be little no doubt about the value of the program and the effect it has on students and teachers alike.
Presently, there are 81 Trout In the Classroom programs operating statewide. Some are in a single use classroom and are viewed only by that particular class while many are in public areas where they are observed daily by hundreds of students. In our estimation, Trout In the Classroom affects close to 10,000 students across the state; impressing upon them the delicate balances of nature and the importance of ensuring a future with clean, cold water.