In-Class Activities for SITC Participants


Each Salmon in the Classroom participant is offered one in-class activity each school year. These presentations are led by the Salmon in the Classroom Coordinator and take place in both fall and spring. Current in-class activity offerings are listed below. Email to schedule an activity!

How do scientists use patterns of inheritance to identify different species of Pacific Northwest salmon?  Get up close and personal with your fingerlings and practice your scientific skills right at your desk.  This activity is a great opener for your salmon year.

Ever wonder what life is like for salmon swimming in the river?  Dodge eagles, bears, and fishermen as you navigate the real-life challenges of a salmon.  This obstacle course game is a perfect way for active learners to review the salmon life cycle stages and understand what the future holds once your salmon are released.  Adapted from Project WILD's Hooks and Ladders activity.

Investigate a hidden world of critters that live in a stream!  Did you know dragonflies begin their life cycle underwater?  Or that bugs are important for salmon?    Look at live aquatic macroinvertebrates to learn more about these fascinating critters.  Practice observation skills and learn how water bugs are indicators of water quality.  

What happens to salmon’s food source when the environment changes?  Hop, twirl, or crawl your way across the stream and try to survive as a macro facing environmental stressors.  Track your population as a tolerant or sensitive species of water bug.  This field game is a great follow up to a live macro investigation.

Your salmon have an incredible migration pattern, but which sense organs to salmon use to navigate back to their home stream?  Get some first-hand experience what it’s like to sniff your way back to your natal stream!

Ever wonder what a heart or the inside of a stomach looks like? Explore the external and internal anatomy of a real Rainbow trout. Cut open a stomach to see what the fish ate for dinner. Follow the path food goes in the digestive system from the mouth all the way to the large intestine. Compare fish anatomy to human anatomy. Gloves and dissection materials provided.

Chemical Water Testing

Can you tell if water is clean just by looking at it?  Use chemical tests to determine if your tank water is clean enough for your salmon.  Practice scientific skills and measure levels of dissolved oxygen, pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

What do salmon need from their habitat or ecosystem in order to survive?  Students might know how the tank is a model ecosystem that has what salmon need, but how does it work in nature?  Walk along the stream and look for evidence that it’s a good home for your salmon.

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Columbia Springs strives to offer a unique setting and educational experiences that foster a greater awareness of the natural world and inspire stewardship.


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