From the Classroom to the Creek

A Program of the Los Angeles Unified School District
Division of Educational Services - Mathematics and Science

Elementary Field Science Stela Stolarz, Teacher


Stela Stolarz' young Harding Street Elementary School students have some stories to tell about their Trout in the Classroom Program. "Until last year," Ms. Stolarz says, "my students were reading and writing in Spanish, while developing English as a second language orally. This year, they are reading and writing in English, researching about the Steelhead Trout, and they are doing a remarkable job!"

Stolarz' students can tell you what is meant by "endangered species," and how they were able to help the Steelhead Trout increase their numbers. Having raised and learned about trout from the egg stage all the way to the fry stage in the classroom, their studies in the Trout program included science, geography and math.

"This is a very, very good program," she says, "because it integrates many subjects. It really, really facilitates my teaching because it is concrete experience for the children. The second stage of the program was a field trip to Piru Creek to release the trout; it was especially exciting for the class.

"We transferred the trout from the aquarium to a big bucket," Stolarz said. "We had an aerator to keep the air circulating in the water. We also used ice to keep the temperature 50 degrees so that the fish would survive the one-hour ride. Once we arrived at Piru Creek, the children were divided into stations. One station was called the Water Exploration Station, where they saw insects that are really important and crucial to the food chain.

"We had Nature Observation Stations, where the children got to see what a chaparral environment is, and we got to watch our trout being released! It was really good for our third graders because they are learning about our surroundings. The most important part of this whole process, and what I hope the children will take with them," says Stolarz, "is the fact that we need to take care of nature, so that the lifecycles can continue, not only for the trout, but all living things on this earth. This is the kind of experience they will never forget in their lives, because they have lived it!"

For more information, contact Chris Holle, Elementary Science Specialist (213) 625-6420 Los Angeles Unified School District, Division of Educational Services - Mathematics and Science

333 S. Beaudry, 25th Floor, 151-9 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Phone (213) 241-6420 Fax (213) 241-8469