May 3, 2012
“No one is born with an innate understanding of nature and how to relate to it in a civilized world. It’s acquired knowledge.”
If you think back to your K-12 education, or perhaps think about what your kids are learning in the classroom, it probably focused mainly on the four pillars: Math, Science, English, and Social Studies. You may have taken other electives, but few if any of your classes probably cultivated a deep appreciation for the outdoors. In fact, we would bet you were more likely to be looking out the window than you were to actually be outside feeling the sun and the wind and the grass.
A program led by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Department of Education, and state council of Trout Unlimited is trying to change all of it. And it’s wildly successful.
The program, Trout in the Classroom, is exactly what its same suggests: students raise brook trout from eggs to fingerlings in classroom aquariums and release them into nearby waterways. The best part of the program is that its educational benefits extend into many different areas of study. At many of the over 200 schools now participating in the program, entire grades take on the project of raising the trout, with teachers from each subject offering a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the life-cycle and significance of trout and fish in general.