Eyed Egg and Alevin and Fry, oh my! Windham Middle School student Nathan McCarron-Lamb shared that his favorite part about our brook trout project is “witnessing the trout grow and become alevin right before our very eyes!” He goes on to say that “this has given me a feeling of responsibility and increased interest in brook trout.” At this point of our project, many of the trout eggs that the Natural Resource Council of Maine grant helped us in purchasing and caring for, have hatched and are now in the alevin stage where they survive using the nutrients they absorb from their yolk sac. Students are looking forward to the rest of them developing into the alevin stage and eventually into the fry stage when they will be ready to be released.
Students continue to collect data by inspecting the tank to make sure everything is working properly and calculating Total Thermal Units (TTU) to monitor trout development. In addition to collecting the data, students were challenged to come up with a development calendar of water temperature adjustments that will help us reach our development goal and target tank temperature. Students worked their way backwards from our goals of 750 TTU and 11°C, and then made a plan to make gradual temperature changes. Based on our calendar our brook trout should be ready for release in mid-May!
Stella Jarvais, sixth grade student at Windham Middle School, shared that “when we got the brook trout, everyone was so excited to take care of them, especially me. I love it when we get to sketch the brook trout and compare how much they have grown already.” She goes on to say that her favorite part about the trout is “being able to see them out of the tank and talk about the brook trout with classmates.”
Our work with trout has allowed for seamless integration of the math curriculum. While observing the trout, students have learned about random sampling and how a sample can represent an entire population. Students have also practiced measuring the diameter of the eggs, the length of the alevin, and converting within the metric system. Lastly, they have practiced converting between fractions, decimals, and percentages. Students calculated the percent the trout have developed as well as the percent of eyed egg, alevin, and fry in the sample they are observing.
—Katie Franzoni, Windham Middle School 6th Grade Teacher