Education program brings salmon to students

Sponsored by Grant County PUD

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Yakima Basin Environmental Education Program Director Bob Tuck exposes the egg skeins of a female Chinook salmon to students in Dorian Shank's eighth-grade science class at Chief Moses Middle School.

MOSES LAKE - Chief Moses Middle School students got a close look at salmon - on both the outside and the inside.

Bob Tuck and Tiffany Bishop, director and assistant director of the Yakima Basin Environmental Education Program in Selah, visited Dorian Shank's eighth-grade science class to dissect salmon and teach students how salmon anatomy compares to human anatomy.

The organization's classroom visits are part of the Salmon in the Classroom program sponsored by the Grant County Public Utility District.

In January, the program provided classrooms with salmon eggs.

"They watch the development of the eggs. They watch them hatch. They watch them develop into swimming fry and then they feed them for awhile," said Tuck.

The students release the fry in April or May, he added.

"The Salmon in the Classroom program is used as a supplemental science enrichment effort to add a little extra oomph to the science curriculum," said Tuck.

Salmon are a Pacific Northwest icon and many people and organizations, including Grant County PUD, are working to restore salmon runs, he said, adding that it's important for students who will soon be voting to understand the salmon life cycle and why salmon are important.

The program gives teachers the opportunity to reinforce science subjects, such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry and water quality, he said.

"A lot of teachers even go further than that and use (Salmon in the Classroom) as a tool to encourage writing and reading and even art projects," he said. "It meets all the requirements for hands-on interdisciplinary efforts that we're talking about in education now."

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