My students need to see more biodiversity in our classroom fish tank, including snails, frogs and new plant life. Cleaning supplies also needed to keep our fish healthy!
Two years ago, my environmental science students were thrilled to receive a fully stocked River Tank from Donorschoose.org. Now those students have graduated and are off to college and I have a new group of juniors coming in. I want the classroom tank to be just as exciting for them!
My students are a sweet group, excited about science and learning.
They are each so unique in their backgrounds, abilities, and goals. Growing up in New York City isn't easy, but they come to school every day and do their best to work towards graduation. Some of them will be the first in their families to receive a diploma, so there is a lot of pressure on them to perform on required state tests. My class does not have a state test connected to it, so I try my best to give my students a chance to have authentic and engaging learning experiences with science.
I have a wide range of learners in my classroom. At one end of the spectrum, I have students who sometimes have behavioral issues. Staring into the tank can often calm them and give them a chance to reflect on their actions. At the other end of the spectrum, I have 2-3 student interns per year, usually seniors who are on track to graduate. They take full responsibility of the tank, giving them essential real-world experience.
We received a River Tank from Donorschoose 2 years ago and we absolutely love it! Over 2 years, we've lost all but one plant and most of the snails. The fish are still doing great, but in order to keep their environment health and clean we need new supplies! I have requested chemicals to clean the water, cleaning supplies, and some new filters. I also want to add dwarf frogs, which in the past have been a huge hit!
In order to make our River Tank a true ecosystem, we need to add a larger variety of species that can interact with each other. The beauty of the River Tank is that the plants benefit from the wastes the fish create. This cycle of nutrients and energy is an enduring understanding for my environmental science class. I hope that in seeing how these organisms are connected, my students will be able to see their place in real life environmental systems and cycles.
By funding this project, you will enable our classroom to continue to use materials so generously donated to us 2 years ago.
The fish tank, when at full capacity, gives my students a chance to connect their learning about the environment to live organisms that they can observe right in front of them. I tell my students "Don't blow it - Good planets are hard to find". By having up-close experience with fragile species, I hope that they will learn to take actions now to help save our Earth.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.