Well it's over--for this year! How to take care of a "flow through" chiller before you pack it away. Excellent curriculum resources from Natasha. Lots more documentation of what you all did. Can you get me any more data??
Great GNAT video!
The combination of more Release Days than I can count, time spent cleaning and packing away stream study gear, a trip to NYC to see Hamilton, a little fishing, and a "Sailing Camp" (on Lake Bomoseen) to teach three of my grandkids to sail caused my TIC blog identity to "go dark" for--can you believe it?--20 days.
One of our southwest Vermont Release Days, that of Fisher Elementary School in Arlington, was attended by Ann Hammerle, a reporter/videographer from GNAT (Greater Northshire Area Television), who produced this excellent video of the great day we had on the Roaring Branch.
What to do before packing away a flow-through chiller
You may remember that second-year TIC teacher and all-around superwoman, Lisa Marks, of Ludlow Elementary School, lost all her fish this past year. This occurred in spite of the fact that she had had a very successful first season in 2015-2016. Several of us spent hours trying to explain this result. Was it water chemistry? Was it missing the swim-up? Or was it the black gunk that began to grow in her tank??? We never came up with a confident explanation. But when, before getting replacement fry, Lisa drained her chiller and LOTS of black gunk came out, we began to strongly suspect that this was the cause of her tank's total mortality.
So I'm pleased to be able to share with you the process Lisa, her community partner Kathy Ehlers, and Ludlow's custodian Troy Adams engaged in to properly "mothball" their chiller for the summer.
First, they took off all the hoses.
Blowing the water out of the chiller
Troy attached a hose and used an air compressor to blow out the water.
Then he attached the air compressor to the opposite side and blew it out again.
When using an air compressor, blow out the solution until no water comes out. Then rinse water through and blow our again. Make sure someone holds the tube, and WEAR GOGGLES so that you don't get get it into your eyes.
Then they poured a bleach/water solution into the chiller (one side at a time) and blew the solution out using the air compressor.
Finally, Troy poured bleach solution through the hoses and then ran water through the tubing and pushed a thin cloth through, to clean the tubing.
Thank you Lisa, Kathy, and Troy!!
Terrific curriculum ideas
Natasha Grey, of Charlotte Central School, sent me a link to the folder she developed of great TIC curriculum ideas. I highly recommend you visit Natasha's site. But I also encourage you to send me your version of this idea. Here's the link to Natasha's collection.
National TIC quilt project
Here's a photo of Emma Vastola (the one wearing a key an a lanyard) and her proud Mount Holly School class.
More RD photos
Several of you have sent me terrific photos of your Release Days. One of the largest collection of photos cam from Danielle Levine, at Schoolhouse Learning Center.
Thanks, Danielle! Danielle also sent a collection of photos across the TIC year. Here they are.
John Cioffi, of St. Albans City Elementary School, sent me this great video documenting their TIC project this year.
John also sent this link to their class Haiku Learning Web site.
Brian Crane sent these photos of Rutland Town School's first Release Day.
Anna Kovaliv, of Camels Hump Middle School, provided a nice report on their program as well as seven photos. (Because I had to "steal" the photos from a Google Doc Anna sent me, they're smaller than most.)
7th grade students have been raising trout in their science lab as part of a program sponsored by Trout Unlimited. They received 110 eggs in January and have been monitoring their development over the past five months. Watching the trout develop and understanding the changes has been a wonderful learning experience. Students monitored water chemistry and learned about nitrogen cycles.
This past week, the Grit and Spark teams released the surviving 82 trout into the Huntington River (far better than the 1% survival rate in the wild!). It was great to watch them react to their new environment. Students commented on how well their coloring camouflaged them against the sand and rocks of the stream.
Raising the trout provided a wonderful educational experience that ties in with so much of the 7th grade science curriculum. CHMS hopes to have trout in the classroom again next year. A special thanks to Trout Unlimited for supporting this program and to Bob Wible, a volunteer, who provided guidance to our team throughout the project.
Data, data, data!
Finally, if you haven't already--and many thanks to those of you who have sent in data--can you please send me your data? I'd love to get (a) water chemistry data (including information on mortality and bacteria added) and (b) your DI and swim-up data.
Several of our Vermont TIC volunteers will be reviewing all the data we get to discern patterns that we can use in improving our systems next year. Your contributions to this "learning community" effort will be most appreciated.
Have a great summer!
Joe Mark, Lead Facilitator, Vermont Trout in the Classroom
In June 2012, I retired after 40 years in higher education, having spent the last 32 years of my career as dean at Castleton. One of the first things I volunteered to do in retirement was to work with Jim Mirenda to help the Dorset School, where his kids and my Vermont grandkids attend, start a TIC program. Gradually that commitment grew into my current role, which is both demanding and highly rewarding.