WINONA LAKE — At the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, over 30, 40-gallon aquariums were taken to classrooms in elementary schools throughout Kosciusko County. More than 2,300 students saw and learned about native fish throughout the school year.
Classroom Lake Experience helps enhance an elementary classroom’s existing schedule. Lesson plans are designed around specific standards and age-appropriate objectives, but they are capable of much more than meeting a standard. The classroom aquariums usually hold five to eight native fish, a combination of red ear sunfish, smallmouth bass, gold shiners, perch and channel catfish. Throughout the school year, elementary students observe the habitats of the fish and learn about related topics. Since the fish are ones found in lakes throughout Kosciusko County, the students are also gaining first-hand knowledge about what local fish like to eat and how they prefer to live.
In the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex on Grace College’s campus, the Lilly Center now has space for more than 80 aquariums. Many will be used as stock tanks; the rest will be taken to school classrooms. Apply for or help fund an aquarium by emailing Caitlin Yoder, education coordinator at the Lilly Center: [email protected]. Or, visit lakes.grace.edu to get involved.
Thank you to those generous supporters of the Classroom Lake Experience program, including Cargill, Inc., City of Warsaw Stormwater Utility, Clearwater Car Wash, CTB, Inc., The Dekko Foundation, Hand Family Foundation, Inc., Paragon Medical, Inc., Syracuse Lake Association, The Papers, Inc., Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, Warsaw Optimist Club, Wawasee Middle School, Wawasee Property Owners Association, Winona Lake Preservation Association and Zimmer Biomet.