Stoneleigh-Burnham School students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program have begun their months-long “Trout in the Classroom” project.

Students are raising Brook Trout in a large fish tank that sits just inside the entrance to the Jesser Science Building. Stoneleigh-Burnham School recently received 150 eggs from a hatchery in Palmer, Mass. On Thursday, January 21, the eggs began hatching, and most were hatched within two days.

Students set up the tank and have been monitoring its water quality. Students will also study stream habitat, and at the end of the year, will release the trout in a state-approved stream near the school.

SBS Science Department Chair Beth Stinchfield said on Monday, January 25 that the yolk sacs on the trout fry can be clearly seen. The trout will go to the bottom of the tank where they will disappear into the gravel and live off their yolk sacs for about two weeks before they will come out looking for food.

“Trout in the Classroom” is promoted through the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Trout Unlimited Organization. Goals of the project include fostering an appreciation of our water resources and a conservation ethic, and promoting an understanding of our local ecosystem.

Stinchfield said “Trout in the Classroom” has interdisciplinary applications in science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, fine arts, and physical education. Stinchfield encourages people to stop by to watch the progress of the trout project.

For more information, visit Trout Unlimited.