Today we started our Salmon in the Classroom’ project. It is an innovative, science-based program which allows schools to raise salmon from the egg to the fry stage in classroom incubators. Tyne Rivers Trust are able to offer this free of charge thanks to funding from Peoples Postcode Lottery and Charity Foundation.
Through participation in Salmon in the Classroom, students learn about the life cycle and biology of Atlantic salmon, their habitat requirements, the water cycle, human impact on catchments and ways to protect the Tyne’s Salmon for future generations. This programme has run in various schools in the Tyne previously with great feedback and benefits to the students as well as less antisocial behaviour issues around local streams.
Tyne Rivers Trust have now set up an aquarium and cooling system in the classroom. Today they brought the salmon eggs into the classroom as they are close to hatching. Over the next few weeks basic maintenance will be required (checking temperature and making sure the filters are clear) along with monitoring the hatch rate of the salmon, once all the eggs have hatched then they will return to take the class and the salmon to the local river to release them.
Tyne Rivers Trust provide all equipment required as well as an hour or two in the classroom when the eggs are delivered to talk about lifecycles and looking after the salmon and then again to take the children out to the local stream to release the salmon!
As well as the science element having salmon in the classroom gives multiple further opportunities in art and literature and encourages children to respect their local environment.
There is further information about the programme on the Scottish Natural Heritage website http://www.snh.org.uk/Salmonintheclassroom/