The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Teachers Dive into Fish Tank Transformation

Syeda Fatima
Science teachers Michael Page (left) and Chris Barnett (right) stand at the fish tank site.

This year, science teachers Michael Page and Chris Barnett are teaming up to make some big changes to the second-floor fish tank. Page, who teaches chemistry and biology, and Barnett, who teaches zoology and AP Environmental Science (APES), have decided to give the tank a complete makeover. They are introducing new fish species, mostly ones native to Illinois.

Instead of the old method of catching fish in the wild, they’ve partnered with two organizations: Trout Unlimited and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This allows them to get a variety of native Illinois fish including trout, bass and pike. Our tank has even become a licensed hatchery, which means they can receive rainbow trout eggs from the Department of Natural Resources. At the end of the school year, their plan is to release the fish back into Lake Michigan.

Their inspiration for this project was drawn from other schools that have implemented similar initiatives through various programs that gives marine species to schools.

“We heard about this idea from others and we then reached out to the organization about potentially partnering up with ‘Trout in the Classroom’. I have experience with ‘Seabass in the Classroom,’ which is a similar program in California, so I knew the ins and outs of how these programs work. ‘Trout in the Classroom’ is available here in Illinois so we reached out for this opportunity,” Page said

Their primary goal with this new fish tank is to engage zoology and APES students. Although it’s their first year doing this, they hope students will become interested in conservation and wildlife programs, making it a tradition that continues for years to come.

“Once the eggs are here during mid-November, please stop by and check them out,” Barnett said.

When the fish eggs start hatching, APES classes will have the chance to observe the fish and learn about biodiversity. They’ll also find out what might happen if these fish species start to disappear.

“We’ll be studying these fish to understand aquatic biodiversity and its importance. We want to emphasize why it’s crucial to have native Illinois fish in our ecosystems. We’ll also explore what could happen if these populations decrease,” APES teacher Susan Schram said.

So, if you’re interested in seeing these new fish and learning more about them, don’t forget to stop by the tank in mid-November. Feel free to reach out to either Mr. Barnett or Mr. Page to learn more information as well!

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Niles West News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *