Aquariums in the Classroom

If you have hundreds of native fish living in your state, what's the best way to learn about them? You get out in the river and get your hands wet!

When it comes to freshwater fish, the Southeastern United States is a treasure chest of biodiversity. Nearly 500 different fish species make their home here…that’s over sixty percent of all the fish in the country. It’s a lot of fish to keep track of…or learn about. But some students in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee are finding it’s a little bit easier to learn about all those fish. That’s because the fish are coming to their classroom. Wild Side Guide Ken Tucker takes us to the Roaring River in Jackson County, where high school students are learning by getting their hands wet, thanks to a program started by the Friends of Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery.

Educational aquariums have already been placed in nine schools in the Upper Cumberland region. The hope is to expand to as many as 25 schools over the next few years. Educators at Tennessee Tech have helped develop teaching guidlines for the aquariums that follow the state’s next generation science standards.

You can learn more about the “Aquariums in the Classroom” project at the Friends of Dale Hollow NFH website. The aquariums are rather expensive, so the Friends are always on the lookout for individuals, groups, organizations, or companies who might be interested in sponsoring an aquarium. Friends of Dale Hollow is a non-profit organization, so any donations to the program are tax deductible. Other partners in the project are the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery, and the Tennessee Aquarium.

From show 2701.

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