Mary Baldwin College hosts Trout in the Classroom course

Fourteen educators completed an intensive Trout in the Classroom course at Mary Baldwin College the week of July 29. The course, which is taught every other year, provides strategies for helping teachers to implement TIC in their respective classrooms. The course offers both classroom and field instruction. Dr. Tom Benzing, professor at James Madison University and TU member, was the lead instructor, along with Betty Gatewood.

Dr. Benzing led field trips to local streams where participants sampled macroinvertebrates, helped with an electro-shocking demonstration, and tested water using different types of kits and probes. Ms. Gatewood offered numerous examples of integrating TIC across the school curriculum. Participants included several teachers who currently participate in TIC, as well as teachers new to the program, one principal, and a few individuals from environmental organizations.

Trout in the Classroom is a conservation-oriented environmental education program for elementary, middle, and high school students. Students and teachers use chilled aquariums to raise trout from fertilized eggs supplied by state hatcheries. The students make daily temperature measurements, and monitor pH and ammonia levels with test kits. They record their data, plot trends, and make sure that the water quality is sufficient to support trout development. Toward the end of the school year, students release the fry into state-approved watersheds.

TU chapters in Virginia support more than 200 TIC projects throughout the state. To learn more about TIC or the program at Mary Baldwin College, contact Chuck Hoysa, chuck.hoysa@dgif.virginia.gov.

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The Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited is made up of representatives of the state’s 16 TU chapters.