This month began another year for Salmon in the Classroom! This WDFW School Cooperative Program provides salmon eggs to classroom aquariums within Washington State, allowing students to fully understand the life cycle of salmon as a crucial keystone species. After watching the 500 eyed fall chum eggs settle into their new homes at Belfair and Sand Hill elementary schools, the six fourth-grade classes are eager to learn about their temporary new companions. Salmon Center staff member Michelle, along with AmeriCorps members Zoe and Kelly, will be teaching lessons on the salmon life cycle, water quality, and habitat.
Running for over two decades, Salmon in the Classroom has been a powerful learning tool. We appreciate this program for its effectiveness in educating youth about salmon survival in an engaging and sensory way. It allows students to explore complex concepts, such as pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen though the monitoring of the aquariums and supplemental lesson plans. From January to March, students will watch their salmon hatch, develop from alevin, to fry, and finally, to parr, before they will join us in March’s big release event into Sweetwater Creek.
The Salmon Center also inspires artistic creativity with the “Soul Salmon” annual art contest which provides the participating students with the opportunity to design a salmon that exemplifies the year’s chosen theme. The winner of the contest will be announced in April, and will transform our Soul Salmon sculpture into their winning vision!
All in all, the program is a fantastic learning opportunity for students, and their families, who will without a doubt be bombarded with information and excitement from their children. To read more about the Salmon in the Classroom program, click here.