What are the benefits of TIC? You tell me.
Here's a wonderful report I recently got from one of our terrific Vermont TIC teachers:
I have to tell you about one of my students. He is a very reluctant learner, comes from a long line of family members who don't have anything nice to say about education, and rarely smiles. Yesterday when he was about to be picked up, he ran outside and begged his mom to stay later until the eggs were officially in the tank and we were done adding the NiteOut II and Special Blend. She let him...she let him!
His wanting so much to stay with me and his mother's recognizing how important that was to him was worth the whole experience, regardless of what happens from now until May (well, sort of!).
If you look at the picture of our community volunteer talking to the kids he's the one in the red shirt. Note the SMILE on his face! That's a smile I have rarely seen.
As you encounter stories like this that illustrate the benefits of TIC, please share them with us.
Here are some new TIC photos provided by the team--Syl Stempel, Shawn Nailor, Gloria Nailor, and Mike Bard--that covered 227 miles last Friday to deliver eggs to Cambridge Elementary, Cold Hollow Technical Center, Eden Elementary, Hyde Park, and Waterville Elementary schools.
Chart hatching data
Many of you have experienced some early egg hatches. I've got a suggestion for you: keep good track of those data and then have your students turn them into a line or column chart. I'd love it if you'd then also send those charts or images of them to me. That way, we'll have better information to share with next year's teachers. In fact, if I can aggregate data from all submitting schools (especially if you'll also send me temperature data), I can generate a table of the patterns of hatching statewide. That will help future teachers decide whether their hatch patterns are "normal" or not.
Another idea is to have your students research rates of premature births in human ("gestational age at birth"). They could then calculate prematurity rates for their trout and then compare them to human rates. Here's an example of the kind of data on human births that you can find online.
You can find a larger version of this image here. The whole report from which I got that table is available here.
Good work at The Schoolhouse Learning Center
This afternoon Danielle Levine submitted this brief report:
Here is our data chart so far. Students are loving doing the testing. We observe the egg under a microscope and allow every kid to look once a week. In the 4/5 class, they are learning about how to do the testing, the ideal conditions for a trout and the chemistry. In the 2/3, they compared the trout egg to a chicken egg. In the K/1, we made 3-D models of the egg for each kid to take home. They can now identify the yolk, eyes, backbone and brain. Good fun!
Here's a link to a table of Danielle's data to date. (Below is the most critical excerpt from that table.) How do these numbers compare to yours? And below the table are some photos of the egg models Danielle's K/1 kids made. Nice, huh?
Report on SIC
While we have 71 tanks in Vermont raising salmonids, 68 of those raise brook trout. The other four raise landlocked Atlantic salmon because those schools are located near rivers that support spawning runs of salmon, either from Lake Champlain or from Lake Willoughby.
Here's a brief report from Chris Murphy, of North Country Union High School in Newport, Vermont.
I did want to send a quick check in an update. Our 200 salmon eggs were delivered right before the new year. A majority of them have hatched and things are going very well. The only issue that I faced was a small one-day outbreak of a little white fungus on a couple of dead eggs over a weekend. Luckily that's been removed and taken care of quickly. And fortunately we finally received our testing supplies that we ordered, and I am doing daily tests and recording that data!
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.