By Fran Agnone with contributions by Kiera Hutley, Samiyah Samuels, Sirran Blatt, Meliane Materka, Martin Edeler and Victoria Wyszkowski
On Friday, April 21st, two 4th grade classes from PS 110, The Monitor School, piled into a bus heading north towards the Cross River in Westchester County. Students told jokes, looked out the windows, and kept a close watch on two buckets near the front containing dozens of live fingerling trout that they would soon release into the wild.
For the past several years, the school has been participating in the Trout in the Classroom program run by Trout Unlimited. The program trains a teacher to set-up a fish tank chilled to fifty-five degrees and teaches them how to maintain ideal conditions to raise healthy animals in the classroom. Students spend the year watching eggs grow and change as they matured.
The end of the program culminates with the trout’s release. Thanks to the dedication of STEM Teacher LuAnn Fortunato and the support of Lillit Genovesi, Trout in the Classroom Coordinator, students in all grade levels got to revel in the glory of trout each time they visited the STEM Lab!
Here is a record of student experiences once we got off the bus and explored the Ward Pound Ridge. They were given a clipboard and digital cameras to document and share their experiences.
Trout Release in the River
The woods are amazing place!!
Lots of rocks and logs!
Lots of trees everywhere.
Healthy green plants.
We are going to release the trout soon.
The water is a big muddy and brown.
Trout need the water!!
We get to put the trout in!! We get to name them! – Kiera Hutley
The water is very fresh.
The trout got so big!
We are at the Cross River – Samiyah Samuels
Wow I am so excited to we are going to release them. – Sirran Blatt
People should learn more about trout. – Melanie Materka
Be careful with the trout! PLEASE! – Martin Edeler
The trout are now in the wild! They are safe and free (apart from predators). –Kiera
A Hike in the Woods
We released the trout. We learned so much about them.
We are now hiking.
There are so many living things (organisms).
Some of us are picking up random items (nature treasures).
We just walked past the skunk cabbage. –Victoria Wyszkowski
On the hike we got really, really muddy.
Outside we just saw a horse and a sheep.
Fun fact! The lake has over a trillion drops of water.
We walked on a bridge that was so wobbly that we had to walk in a single file line.
My feet got stuck in the mud. #LOL –Samiyah
Little Creatures in the Water
With the help of wonderful volunteers, students got to explore benthic macroinvertebrates, small critters that live in the creek that the trout will eat. From tiny blue craywfish to a camouflaged wiggler that looked like a stick. Some of these creatures will mature into flying insects. Others would remain in the water for the rest of their lives. Others will get eaten!
We are watching one of them eat another one. It’s eating! It’s a predator! — Victoria
What a great day! – Samiyah
The students enjoyed their trip north and learned so much about the local ecosystem. It is important for the children to be able to see different areas of nature so that they can be aware and concerned about protecting the environment. It is a wonderful thing to give them a way to combine their self expression and knowledge gaining. Field trips are often some of the greatest learning experiences for growing minds, and this trip truly made learning a reality!