Learning grows in Roberts Elementary classroom
Learning grows in Roberts Elementary classroom
Posted on 11/18/2016
Two students look at a sturgeon in a classroom fish tank

A love of science and the environment is now growing in a classroom at Robert Elementary.

In fact, that love is expected to double by this May.

The new excitement is the result of the school being one of only 11 in Michigan to adopt a Lake Sturgeon fish, now living in a 55 gallon tank in the classroom.

The Sturgeon – named “Magikarp” by the students based on the Pokemon character – will allow students to learn more about outdoor life and habitats in Michigan, according to teacher Scott Burnham.

“The lesson is about learning more about outdoor life in Michigan,” he said. “The Sturgeon is the longest living, largest fresh water fish.”

The fish, which is now 25.2 centimeters, will double in size before it is released in Black Lake near the top of the Lower Peninsula this May. Sturgeon typically live about 75 years.

In addition to raising the Sturgeon, Roberts Elementary students also take part in the Salmon in a Classroom program.

The school is receiving 200 eggs that will hatch and be raised in a separate tank. Students will be able to compare and contrast what they learn from raising both types of fish in their classrooms.

Roberts fifth grader Sarah Rufo Auraha said she enjoys watching how excited “Magikarp” gets around feeding time.

It is an enthusiasm shared by her classmate Katie You.

“This is really cool,” You said. “I have never had a fish in my classroom before. It is letting me learn a lot of new things about Sturgeons.”

Roberts has been participating in the Salmon in the Classroom program for the past seven years, releasing them each spring in the Clinton River by their school.

This is the first year that students are also raising a Lake Sturgeon.