School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

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Jason Chambers
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Joined: January 26th, 2018, 12:33 pm
Location: Murphy, NC

School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

Post by Jason Chambers » February 7th, 2018, 12:05 pm

Thought I'd share the cool project I'm working on with some of my students.

First, a little about our school: About 11 years ago now we built a high school on our community college campus - Tri-County Early College (TCEC). Students start here in the 9th grade and in four years they get a high school diploma and a two-year college degree, either a University Transfer (AA or AS), or a career-based technical degree like Welding or Auto Mechanics. It's a free public high school and we target both at-risk students and students who can benefit from accelerated learning opportunities. Everything we do is pretty much 100% project based. Our student-made website - https://www.tricountyearlycollege.org/

Our project this 8 weeks is based around connecting students with our local Appalachian Heritage. Telling the stories and studying the history of our local area. Our driving question - How can we inspire young people to value our local heritage by telling our community’s stories in creative and meaningful ways?

My group of 5 students is studying the evolution of the fishing culture in our local area. We're starting with the native Cherokees (think fish weirs, ground-up buckeye nuts as poison), moving through the early settlers before there were any dams, through the Great Depression, after the dams were built (think dynamite), and on up to modern day. The students have already started interviewing local old timers to record their fish stories, the techniques they used, and discovering how fishing back then was less of a sport and more of a means of food. For the biology portion they'll be catching/dissecting fish, and looking at how different species' populations have risen and fallen. For math they're looking into stocking rates for local trout and lake species, bait populations, and a few other things related to probability. They're writing and documenting all of this to cover their English competencies. I was surprised to learn that while most in my group had been fishing, and most had eaten fish, none of them had ever caught a fish, cleaned it, and then eaten it.

Not a whole lot to do with striper fishing, but they will touch on using stripers as a check on non-native bait populations. And, of course, I promised to take them striper fishing!

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Mike Werner
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Joined: March 30th, 2011, 10:41 am
Location: Conyers, GA

Re: School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

Post by Mike Werner » February 7th, 2018, 2:47 pm

That is very interesting. I’m sure most will remember the things they will learn in this program their whole lives.

Kyle Bakis
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Joined: October 30th, 2013, 12:03 am
Location: Northern Kentucky

Re: School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

Post by Kyle Bakis » February 7th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Thanks for sharing that. I visited the link...that's a very intriguing concept for a high school. I like it. Glad to also hear that the technical/vocational aspect is worked into it as well. Somewhere along the line our society has taken the stance of looking down upon the people that don't attend college and instead learn a trade. I won't derail the thread too bad but some of the most successful ($$) people I know started out by simply learning a trade.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing. Sounds like a cool project and bonus points to you for incorporating fishing into it!

Jason Burnette
Posts: 173
Joined: March 1st, 2017, 2:06 pm
Location: Dalton, GA

Re: School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

Post by Jason Burnette » February 7th, 2018, 4:18 pm

I love this new school concept! Keep up the good work.

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Ezell Cox
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Joined: April 1st, 2011, 7:31 pm
Location: Tazewell, TN

Re: School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

Post by Ezell Cox » February 7th, 2018, 7:27 pm

That sounds wonderful. :bow:

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Jason Chambers
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Joined: January 26th, 2018, 12:33 pm
Location: Murphy, NC

Re: School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

Post by Jason Chambers » February 8th, 2018, 9:20 am

Thanks for the encouraging comments, guys. Making it work has been harder than I ever thought it would be, but it's been worth it. A lot of kids who would have been dropouts went on to get college degrees. Eight years ago I had a kid in my office who was dead set on dropping out. I walked him down to the welding shop and introduced him to the instructor. That kid went on to win awards for his welding skills, got his degree, and now runs his own motorcycle shop. He's a contributing member of society. That's success.

Jason Burnette
Posts: 173
Joined: March 1st, 2017, 2:06 pm
Location: Dalton, GA

Re: School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

Post by Jason Burnette » February 8th, 2018, 10:10 am

Jason Chambers wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 9:20 am
Thanks for the encouraging comments, guys. Making it work has been harder than I ever thought it would be, but it's been worth it. A lot of kids who would have been dropouts went on to get college degrees. Eight years ago I had a kid in my office who was dead set on dropping out. I walked him down to the welding shop and introduced him to the instructor. That kid went on to win awards for his welding skills, got his degree, and now runs his own motorcycle shop. He's a contributing member of society. That's success.
What you guys are doing is great. Keep it up. I wish more schools would do the same!

It chaps my ass when school systems push every student to do a gender studies major or art history major (or any stupid degree that will not make them a dime the rest of their life). The most successful (wealthy) people I have ever known are self made with no college degree.

JamesPedalino
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Joined: November 13th, 2017, 10:09 am
Location: Knoxville, tn.

Re: School Project - History of Local Fishing Culture

Post by JamesPedalino » February 8th, 2018, 8:04 pm

That is so cool! Makes me want to sign up there and go back through high school!

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