A fifth grade class is getting a jump start on life lessons learned through raising trout in the classroom. Unlike many other classrooms, the fish tank doesn’t hold goldfish or beta fish. It holds hundreds of baby rainbow trout, and their survival depends on the 11 year olds in Megan Hardy’s classroom.
The fish tank is a trout hatchery, and the baby trout are the size of a sunflower seed. Many will not survive once they leave the safety of Stead Elementary School. Some wont survive inside the school either.
Hardy does not hide the facts of nature from her students. Trout cannibalism has become a part of the curriculum. In fact, the fish most likely to eat his siblings has a name: Fatty McGee. He measures one and a half size bigger than the other fish.
He’s the one with a fish tail sticking out of his mouth,” Hardy says. “This is nature. It’s a real life lesson.”
The students started the hatchery with a cup of eggs. When the baby trout are ready after three months, they will be released into the Truckee River.
The activity has the students’ full attention, and Hardy plans lessons in math, writing, reading, and science over the time that the hatchery is in the classroom.