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Aquaculture program sends fish species to Idaho school. (News).

When it comes to math and science, fish have a lot of lessons to teach. An aquaculture program in Idaho combines hands-on activities with academic learning to stimulate students to learn more about a subject, says Gary Fornshell, University of Idaho extension aquaculture specialist.

About 10 years ago, the National Council for Agricultural Education developed a curriculum for using aquaculture in the classroom. The Council estimates that between 25 percent and 30 percent of schools with an agricultural education program have used aquaculture in their classes.

Mackay High School in Twin Falls, Idaho, is among those that have used this program. Vernon Roche, an agricultural education teacher at Mackay, has used both warm water and cold water fish species in his classrooms for about seven years.

He and his students first built primitive tanks for tilapia, a warm water species. As the students' interest has continued to grow, Roche has expanded into cold water species. He has been able to draw on the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies for information both about raising fish and using fish to teach about other subjects.

Bonnie Jacobsen, who manages the K-12 outreach program for the University of Idaho Aquaculture Research Institute, says classroom projects spark students' interest and enthusiasm in science and math, and help overcome their fear of those subjects.

In addition to helping students become more proficient in math and science, aquaculture in the classroom exposes students to careers in aquaculture, Jacobsen says.

Source: The Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho
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Publication:District Administration
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U8ID
Date:Oct 1, 2001
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