TIC photo

Read Carolyn Thomas’ TROUT article for TU’s TROUT Magazine.  Carolyn Thomas is one of our very own Winchester TIC teachers.

What is the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program?

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is a unique conservation-oriented education program for elementary, middle, and high school students with applications in science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, fine arts, and physical education. The TIC program is a way to get students involved and interested in local ecology and stream health, trout life cycles and biology, and the delicate balance of a local ecosystem.

The program consists of raising trout from fertilized eggs supplied by VDGIF hatcheries, in aquariums equipped with special chillers designed to keep the water near 50 degrees F. The students are involved with making daily temperature measurements, and monitoring pH and ammonia levels with test kits. They can record their data, plot trends, and make sure that the water quality is sufficient to support trout development. In the spring, they’ll release the trout fry into a local stream.

The first goal of TIC is to facilitate student knowledge and interest in local water quality and habitats.  However, a fantastic result of the program is creating a culture of conservation among our participants. Students can connect to their local ecosystems and watersheds and have stake in the health and quality of those areas with the trout they have raised.

Winchester TIC

Here in Winchester, we have TIC tanks in about 20 area schools, and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum (open to the public).  Eggs will be delivered soon to our schools and the TIC year will begin. Towards the end of the school year, students will release the fry into Redbud Run, a spring creek in Frederick County which historically held a population of brook trout — and hopefully will again in the future.

Interested in TIC?

If you are interested in getting started with TIC? Here are some resources to explore:

Trout in the Classroom Home Page: This site has everything you might need to get started-equipment requirements, lesson plan ideas, resources, and even suggestions for funding.

The Virginia TIC Manual: This PDF provides details on equipment, tank set up, feeding, water treatment and testing, troubleshooting, etc. The nice thing is there are pictures of actual tanks and set-ups.

The Trout in the Classroom Kit: “That Fish Place” is an online pet supply story and a proud partner of Trout Unlimited. From here, you can choose a kit for your classroom or order replacement parts if you need. This is a convenient resource for getting started if you do not have any equipment.

If you’re a teacher in our region who is interesting in participating in the program and you would like more details, please contact:

Brit Miller
Winchester Area TIC Coordinator

Resources for TIC Schools

Currently a Winchester TIC school? Eggs will be delivered soon. Make sure your equipment is working properly and your tank is ready!

Check out these resources for your school year:

A Watershed of Ideas: This PDF is a very detailed curriculum guide for Virginia TIC programs. There are several lesson ideas with resources.

TIC Lesson Plan Ideas: The TIC website offers a large selection of lesson plan and activity suggestions for almost every age group and content area. There are also suggestions for complementary programs, links to videos, articles, sample classrooms, and even resources in Spanish.

The Virginia TIC Manual: This PDF provides details on equipment, tank set up, feeding, water treatment and testing, troubleshooting, etc. The nice thing is there are pictures of actual tanks and set-ups.

Read Dave Whitlock’s “Brook Trout Story” that was published in Trout Magazine.

Teachers can use this PA TIC manual for a guide for the program.

If you are a current Winchester TIC school and need more information or assistance, please contact our TIC Coordinator: Brit Miller britthmiller@gmail.com (540-662-3945)


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