TMSA's New Trout-in-the-Classroom Program

Meet, Ms. Juliana Jenkins! The 2019 - 2020 academic school year marks Ms. Jenkins' third year teaching life science to 7th graders at TMSA. Ms. Jenkins, a native of Atlanta, Georgia has been teaching for 18 years. Holding a degree in geology (biology minor), Ms. Jenkins feels that TMSA offers her the freedom to explore new opportunities, which enables her to grow with her students. Ms. Jenkins is currently teaching and exposing her 7th grade life science students a new program introduced to TMSA this academic school year named Trout-in-the-Classroom. Discover more about Trout-in-the-Classroom by way of Q&A with Ms. Jenkins!

Q: How did the Trout-in-the-Classroom program begin at TMSA?
A: The Trout-in-the-Classroom program at TMSA is Principal Parker’s brainchild. Principal Parker wants TMSA students to have hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. The award winning, Trout-in-the-Classroom program will afford TMSA students these learning opportunities by taking ownership and watching life in action. Students will raise rainbow trout from eggs to fingerlings (when the rainbow trout grow to the size of a finger).

Q: Tell us more about the organization that provides Trout-in-the-Classroom.
A: Trout-in-the Classroom is provided by the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited (UCCTU), a nationwide organization. The organization’s goal is to conserve, protect and restore the Chattahoochee River. Some of the best fishing in the country is for rainbow trout. Atlanta is one of the major cities in the world that has a major trout stream by way of the Chattahoochee River. The Chattahoochee River is cold enough to support rainbow trout.

Q: Currently, which TMSA grade is participating in the Trout-in-the-Classroom program?
A: All of my 7th grade students who are currently taking life science are participating in the Trout-in-the-Classroom program. The students will be graded on various aspects, such as accuracy of their field tests.

Q: Will other TMSA students have an opportunity to participate in the Trout-in-the-Classroom program?
A: Yes, absolutely as this is a legacy activity. Meaning, TMSA kindergarteners will participate in the program when they enter 7th grade.

Q: What are the students learning/gaining from the program?
A: The students are raising rainbow trout from eggs to fingerlings, monitoring tank water quality (75 gallon fresh water tank), engaging in stream habitat study, learning to appreciate water resources, and understanding ecosystems.

Q: What is the program/project’s timeline for the 2019 – 2020 academic school year?
A: UCCTU delivered the 75 gallon fresh water tank to TMSA on September 12th. The rainbow trout eggs arrived on October 17th. From now until early next year, the students will make daily observations, feed the fish, monitor fish development, conduct chemical testing of the water, and more.

Q: What will happen to the rainbow trout when they grow into fingerlings?
A: When the fish grow finger length (fingerling) they will be released into the river. The students will go on a field trip (estimated February 2020) to North Atlanta (Johns Creek/Alpharetta) to personally release the trout into the river.

Q: Is live streaming available for the TMSA community to join in and witness the process?
A: Thanks to Mr. Graham, TMSA computer science and technology specials teacher, this program is currently live streaming for students and the entire TMSA community to watch and observe the rainbow trout growth process from eggs to fingerlings in real-time. Click here to access the live stream.