Trout coming to Inland Empire Classrooms
by Jasmine Orozco, Education Coordinator, Inland Empire Resource Conservation District
On October 13, 2016 Hillary G. from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) met with Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) staff members Jasmine Orozco and Eric Chan to discuss the opportunity to sponsor the Trout in the Classroom program for teachers within IERCD’s service area.
The meeting was incredibly productive and initiated the first pilot year in which IERCD would select three teachers to host Rainbow Trout in their classroom.
The origin of these programs began in the late 70’s in British Columbia and due to the nature of the educational experience it began to be replicated in Washington, Oregon, and here in California. The Classroom Aquarium Education Program, known regionally as Trout in the Classroom, is regulated by CDFW. CDFW supplies the trout eggs to the classrooms and partners with sponsors to provide the necessary equipment and support for teachers. The goals of the Trout in the Classroom Program are to introduce students to aquatic environments and to instill a sense of responsibility for natural habitats
Ryan Edwards at Etiwanda High School was selected to host the first delivery of Rainbow Trout in IERCD’s pilot program. He is an avid fisherman and wildlife enthusiast. His classroom is filled with terrariums with creatures that slither and hop. He was an ideal candidate for this program and was excited to receive his eggs on January 20th, 2017. He received training from CDFW and supplies and classroom presentations from IERCD. On February 22, 2017 Ryan’s two Environmental Science classes will visit the location selected for release to clean and prepare the new home for their trout. Once the eggs germinate and enter their fingerling stage they will be released on February 27th, 2017. During the release event staff members from IERCD, a forester, and an entomologist will lead stations to educate the students on healthy habitats.
The next cycle will begin in March 2017 and Jackie Lacey from Kimbark Elementary School in San Bernardino is happy to host a bundle of new discoveries with her students. The third teacher selected will be cultivating their learning experiences in October of 2017. The hope is to continue the program and allow other teachers throughout IERCD’s large service area to produce more environmentally educated students with authentic experiences caring for wildlife.