Effingham Co. students learn ‘shocking’ lesson at fish pond

Students spent the day helping the DNR with standardized sampling of a local pond
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 3:01 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Students in Effingham County got a rare treat Monday as they traded a day in the classroom for some time at the pond.

Taking in a “shocking” scene, quite literally, and getting to see firsthand how their lessons in school translate to the real world.

“What you’re going to get to do is kind of be the fisheries biologists, or fisheries scientist, if you will, for the day,” said a Georgia DNR Biologist.

Students from South Effingham Middle School helping the DNR with a standardized sampling of Zemurray Pond.

Which means, “we’re shocking it,” said 8th grader Ben Fluegel.

Well, the shocking part was left to the pros. They do that by using probes which omit an electric pulse the DNR says safely stuns the fish.

“I actually thought it was going to be more dramatic. Thought fish were just going to pop up on the water,” said SEMS STEAM Coach Brandi Bonorato

Maybe not dramatic, but effective.

Once the fish were collected the students work began.

“We’re measuring the weight, seeing how long they are and seeing what types of fish they are,” said Fluegel.

Collecting the data, just like the professionals. Of course, for some students even touching a fish alone was a new experience.

But more importantly, a day like this shows students the value of what they’re learning.

“They truly get to see what’s out there, what people are doing in the real world and now we tie it into our classroom is really doing this,” said Bonorato.

Perhaps answering one very important question along the way.

“When am I going to use this? Then you come out here and realize, ‘oh, you can use this every day for a clear job, something you want to do,’” Fluegel said

Using the information, the students collected today they’ll return to the classroom to create a habitat for these fish out of barrels that will be placed in the ponds around Honey Ridge Agricenter.

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