The Coral Reef Project At Stratton Elementary School

BRS

Brandon Rutherford

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
432
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Champaign Urbana, Illinois
Hello Reef 2 Reef

My name is Brandon Rutherford and I've created a coral reef project at Stratton Elementary School in Champaign Illinois where I am a third grade teacher. My project creates and maintains aquariums in classrooms around the school. I work during the school day and after school to teach aquarium keeping to students from a variety of grade levels and try to integrate marine biology and aquarium science into as much of my general curriculum as possible.

My students are avid reef keepers and take our project very seriously. In the following posts I hope to share their story, past and present, and give them a voice in the larger reef community.

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/123160683" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="">2015.03.23 - stratton coral reef project</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user38678251">Gregory Pluta</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
 
OP
Brandon Rutherford

Brandon Rutherford

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
432
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Champaign Urbana, Illinois
Here's a few pictures of some of our aquariums.


2016598_orig.jpg


Our 90 gallon mixed reef in a third grade classroom
 
Tidal Gardens
Top Shelf Aquatics
AS

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
24,443
Reaction score
19,941
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
tejas
They are all stars of aquarium science tell them brandon429 said hello and welcome to lifelong fun

Make some minis
 
Last edited:
OP
Brandon Rutherford

Brandon Rutherford

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
432
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Champaign Urbana, Illinois
My wife is a 1st grade teacher and she is blown as well.

She might want to consider having a tank :) A kindergarten and first grade classrooms at Stratton have tanks and the kids (and teachers) find them fun and educational.

I'm involved in educational policy and am a regional director of the Illinois Science Teachers Association. I work with this and other organizations to encourage other teachers to use project based science learning, particularly keeping aquariums in the classroom. She's probably already sold on having an aquarium are but there is precedent for using aquariums as instructional tools. A useful thing to bring up when convincing an administrator to let one be setup in a classroom. The only barrier I find is cost and summer care. My project is supported with a lot of my personal money and coming in everyday over the summer sucks. But it's all worth it.
 

Lowstorm

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
Messages
627
Reaction score
408
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Northern MN
Totally fun!!! My 4th grade son is helping me with my tank setup. Kids learn so fast.

So... what lights you running? I wonder if you could set up test tanks for various things. Various types of lighting, water change schedules, a cool mantis shrimp tank in the principals office
 
www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com
OP
Brandon Rutherford

Brandon Rutherford

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
201
Reaction score
432
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Champaign Urbana, Illinois
  1. Kids learn so fast.

    So... what lights you running? I wonder if you could set up test tanks for various things. Various types of lighting, water change schedules, a cool mantis shrimp tank in the principals office
Kids do learn fast, faster than adults. One of the reasons they are so interesting to work with.

I prefer LED lights and all of our big tanks have one model or another. The project is funded by my own salary and donations. I've been lucky with light donations from Kessil, EcoTech and Tunze. My smaller tanks have cheap T5 fixtures I stole from the 5th grade teachers. They're were provided them a while back for a photosynthesis unit but never use them.

We frequently setup temporary tanks and discuss variations in livestock health and water quality. Because my kids do most of the maintenance, there is a lot of variation that already occurs in our systems (sometimes bad variations). Observing the affects of changes in quality of care makes our tanks a constant experiment though I do step in when needed to make sure tanks don't crash. One of our biggest problems is nutrient exportation because the kids love to feed things. I use GFO, pellet reactors and am setting up refugiums in our largest tanks. I still need to 20% water changes weekly to keep things clean.

We also had a cool mantis shrimp tank for while until a malfunctioning heater killed it.

5501798_orig.jpg

Andrew is feeding rotifers to our 30 gallon mantis tank

3177715_orig.jpg

200564_orig.jpg

It got pretty big before the end. It's in a 5 gallon bucket if that helps for scale.
 
Last edited:

ReefFrenzy

Shrimp Pimp
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Messages
1,213
Reaction score
1,811
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Advance, NC
Brandon it is great to see you posting on R2R! I have enjoyed interacting with your students over the past two years via Skype, hand written letters and seeing you guys in person when I come to Chicago. Those kids are so lucky to have you guiding and introducing them to the SW hobby. LRS is proud to sponsor the Stratton Elementary Coral Reef Project year after year.
Screen%20Shot%202016-01-25%20at%209.24.21%20PM_zpsvlgcsw44.png
 
Last edited:

Sabellafella

5000 Club Member
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
7,354
Reaction score
11,208
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Hello Reef 2 Reef

My name is Brandon Rutherford and I've created a coral reef project at Stratton Elementary School in Champaign Illinois where I am a third grade teacher. My project creates and maintains aquariums in classrooms around the school. I work during the school day and after school to teach aquarium keeping to students from a variety of grade levels and try to integrate marine biology and aquarium science into as much of my general curriculum as possible.

My students are avid reef keepers and take our project very seriously. In the following posts I hope to share their story, past and present, and give them a voice in the larger reef community.

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/123160683" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="">2015.03.23 - stratton coral reef project</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user38678251">Gregory Pluta</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
Wow this is amazing, and yess you and your staff/students should not hesitate to post and ask questions. Thanks for sharing (i knew i seen lrs teeshirts on them lol)
 

tristanfish

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Messages
1,293
Reaction score
2,913
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Brooklyn
Hello Reef 2 Reef

My name is Brandon Rutherford and I've created a coral reef project at Stratton Elementary School in Champaign Illinois where I am a third grade teacher. My project creates and maintains aquariums in classrooms around the school. I work during the school day and after school to teach aquarium keeping to students from a variety of grade levels and try to integrate marine biology and aquarium science into as much of my general curriculum as possible.

My students are avid reef keepers and take our project very seriously. In the following posts I hope to share their story, past and present, and give them a voice in the larger reef community.

<iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/123160683" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><a href="">2015.03.23 - stratton coral reef project</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user38678251">Gregory Pluta</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>


Love it
 
BRS

Does it matter to you whether your fish are captive-bred or wild caught?

  • I only buy captive bred fish.

    Votes: 81 14.2%
  • It matters, but I will buy either captive-bred or wild-caught.

    Votes: 409 71.5%
  • I think wild-caught fish are the better option.

    Votes: 15 2.6%
  • I don’t care where the fish were bred.

    Votes: 67 11.7%
NooPsyche CORAL LIGHT
Top