The theme for the 2014 Summer of Discovery Program is "A River of Many Fish." The theme was inspired from the name of our city (Ashtabula) which originates from this same meaning. Students in out-going 4th-8th grades have been coming together at Lakeside High School Monday through Thursday to participate in their "fish cohorts." The students have been divided up into groups each with a different "fish" name. The students are only in their second week of discovery but have already participated in several field trips and service learning projects. They have traveled to Walnut Beach and Lakeshore Park to pick up trash, have planted vegetables in a community garden, and are currently making fish out of paper mache so they can march with them in the TABS parade on July 19th.
Yesterday, a group of students traveled by bus to the Spillway to not only see the Fish Farm, but to feed the fish. Our first stop was at the Fish Farm to see how the fish are kept in a monitored environment to enhance reproduction. When fish eggs are left in nature to hatch, 80% of the eggs that are laid will not hatch due to weather conditions. At the farm, they can control the environment that the fish are kept in. Changing conditions such as temperature and oxygen levels will improve reproduction levels dramatically. Students watched videos on how the process works, and got to see a two-story fish tank filled with several different species of fish. After the tour at the farm, they traveled to the spillway to feed the fish and to eat lunch.
What we have learned from yesterday is that just like the river of many fish that we have, we also have many students. If we can control the environment that they are in, such as an environment with hands-on projects, learning activities, and character building lessons, they will not only be successful in school, but we are building a solid foundation for life-long learners.
The students are having a blast so far, but the Summer of Discovery is just beginning.
Written by: Melinda McNutt
Communications Coordinator at ASD
Lucky participant in yesterdays field trip