Ammonia, nitrate and Ph tests are taken from the salmon egg spawning tank and charted regularly by the sixth grade students at Hollywood Hill Elementary as part of their Sammamish Splash project. From left are Deidra Paulson, Jessica Helbock, and Khalif Fortune.
Photo by Jeff Switzer/Woodinville Weekly.
by Jeff Switzer
With federal grants, King County funds, City of Woodinville dollars, and donations from area businesses, sixth graders at Hollywood Hill Elementary are learning about salmon in a hands-on project called Sammamish Splash.
During the next 30 days, the students will watch their salmon grow from 200 eggs in the classroom into alevin, becoming fry in March. The fry will then be released into Little Bear Creek.
"They act like professionals," said Margaret Weidner, Ph.D, a Hollywood Hill parent and chemist who has helped found the project and raise funds. "It's really great to see their enthusiasm. It challenges them at their level of science."
Clark Productions donated an aquarium and cabinetry for use in the project. Woodinville City Council pitched in $1,000, and the grant was for $7,600. Total project cost, including field trips for the sixth graders and the rest of the school, is $15,000, much of which has been donated by local banks and in-kind services.
"This curriculum gives responsibility to the students and brings them really close to the environment they live in," Weidner said.
King County Councilmember Louise Miller visited the school last week and said she is thrilled about how the students are learning about their environment, combining art, math, science and field trips. She says that helps students who are good at one subject to better learn the others.
"This is the best way for kids to learn," Miller said. "Interdisciplinary learning gets more kids involved and really challenges their minds. We're just happy we were a little part of this."