This classroom program teaches students about stock enhancement and its role in supporting Florida’s marine fisheries.
A student from Tampa’s Dowdell
Middle Magnet School feeds red
drum being raised in his classroom.
Students at Canterbury School of
Florida in Pinellas County sample red
drum in the classroom to determine
growth rate and survival.
For more than 10 years, the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s (FWRI) Aquaculture in the Classroom program has engaged students in activities that help them learn about stock enhancement and its role in supporting Florida’s marine fisheries. The program is designed for students ranging from fifth grade through college, teaching them the basic principals of aquaculture (fish-raising), marine research and how to become stewards of natural resources.
Since this program began in 2001, more than 20 Florida schools from Miami to Gulf City in the Panhandle have participated. Most are from the Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee tri-county area near FWRI’s Stock Enhancement Research Facility (SERF) in Port Manatee. SERF provides participating schools hatchery-reared red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), along with starter feed and technical advice on how to raise the fingerlings in the classroom.
FWC staff members work with teachers, who develop a curriculum that satisfies Florida Sunshine State Standards and provides students the opportunity to design aquaculture systems, perform daily animal husbandry (care) routines and conduct research projects. At the end of the school year, FWRI staff members collect the fingerlings, which are returned to the hatchery to be used for outreach and education exhibits.
To learn more about participating, or to refer a teacher or school for this program, please contact Gina.Russo@MyFWC.com.