Schroon Lake Central School teachers Cookie Barker and Mat Riddle have developed a trout project for students in their science classes. As part of the project Barker and Riddle have designed and built a 300-gallon, self-sustaining aquatic ecosystem.
Photo by Nancy Frasier.
Schroon Lake There’s something fishy about the Schroon Lake Central School science department.
The school is raising trout in an effort “to offer the best quality science program in New York State,” according to teacher Cookie Barker.
“The Schroon Lake Central School Science Department has taken on the mission of providing our students with the best science education in the state of New York,” Barker said. “We are developing a program that is aligned with the national science standards, is unique to our school and accentuates our community’s values while providing our students with hands-on science opportunities.”
The project will be shown to the community Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 to 9 p.m. at the school. Teachers and students will be there to give tours and discuss the construction and projected research ideas.
The project began last spring when the school got 500 rainbow trout sac-fry to raise in a cold water system, built by teacher Mat Riddle, which includes an insulated, 30 gallon aquarium chilled with a thermostatically controlled mini-fridge compressor and cooler unit.
“With the arrival of the trout, came a series of daily learning opportunities as we began our trouble-shooting strategies that accompanied the responsibility of caring for these small fish,” Riddle said. “We have perfected many techniques and devised system changes that have been implemented with this initial trout population. Currently, around 75 trout are still surviving in our tank.”
Five students applied and were accepted for participation in the trout project — Will Lowe, Jeffery Armstrong, Jimmy Bowen, Dan Maisonville and Clare Whitney. They developed data protocol, conducted water quality tests and monitored growth and development.
This fall the Schroon Lake scientists are beginning Phase 2 of the project.
Barker and Riddle have designed and built a 300-gallon, self-sustaining aquatic ecosystem.
Rainbow trout, which were raised in the classroom during Phase 1 of the trout project, now occupy the new tank. There will be plants grown hydroponically in two separate growth beds using the water from the trout tank. Additionally, three in-line fluidized bed filters serve as auxiliary filtering units.