1984 - Wild in the Classroom

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has a long tradition of educating Idaho’s citizens about our hunting and fishing traditions as well as the wildlife that populate our state.  Whether you are a teacher looking to expand your students’ knowledge, interested in hunter safety or just curious about Idaho’s wealth of wildlife, Fish and Game offers many programs, including the following:

Trout in the Classroom: offers students a glimpse of what it would be like to be a fisheries biologist or hatchery manager. Classrooms set up cold-water fish tanks and raise trout from eggs.  As they do, students observe the development of trout from eggs to fry.  They then get the opportunity to release their fish in a stream or pond approved by Fish and Game. During this process, students not only learn about the development of fish, they also learn about fish biology, water chemistry and nutrient cycling. In some locations, classes have the opportunity to go fishing and taste their catch.

Project WILD:  Idaho Fish and Game started offering Project WILD to Idaho’s teachers in 1984, which is an award-winning, international program that teaches teachers to easily incorporate wildlife and ecological concepts into the subjects they are already teaching. Every year approximately 400 teachers attend Project WILD workshops in Idaho. Teachers leave the workshops with educational guides full of information, activities and projects to share with their students.  They also leave with a new-found enthusiasm for Idaho’s rich wildlife resources.
Wildlife is the tool that gets students excited about learning science, mathematics, social studies or reading.  Students also gain knowledge and skills that will help them develop responsible behaviors and constructive actions for wildlife, people and the environment.

Classroom Visits: Idaho Fish and Game offers a variety of programs in schools across the state. Wildlife educators go into the classroom to teach Idaho’s students about wildlife.

Every year Project Nose-to-Nose reaches over 9,000 students in southwest Idaho. Project Nose-to-Nose is a wildlife education program for elementary school children. It is designed to increase students’ awareness, knowledge and appreciation of Idaho’s wildlife.  Full-sized taxidermy mounts and other materials are displayed and used to demonstrate and explain concepts such as habitats, adaptations and tracking.

In North Idaho, owls and other raptors frequently show up in area classrooms. The birds, which were injured and can no longer live in the wild, are rehabilitated at the North Idaho Nature Center. Here, local high school students help care for the birds. The students often help the wildlife educator give classroom presentations with the birds.

Classes and Workshops: Fish and Game offers classes for students of all ages to learn about Idaho wildlife and outdoor skills. These include such things as fly fishing, rehabilitating raptors, fish habitat, steelhead fishing, bird watching and more. Classes or workshops might cover topics such as creating backyard habitat or cooking wild game. Many of these events are held at Fish and Game regional offices, hatcheries or nature centers, including the North Idaho Nature Center in Coeur d’Alene and the MK Nature Center in Boise.

Special Events:  Special events include celebrations of International Migratory Bird Day, Free Fishing Day, Bald Eagle Days in Coeur d’ Alene, Salmon and Steelhead Days in Boise and kids Steelhead Clinic in Lewiston.  Fish and Game also has educational booths at many county and state fairs, as well as, sportsmen’s shows and similar events.

Wildlife Express:  Wildlife Express is a student newspaper published every month of the school year.  Written for students in the 4th – 6th grades, it features a different wildlife species or topic each month.  Students learn about a specific animal, its special adaptations and habitat needs, where it lives, and other interesting facts about the animal. Many teachers find Wildlife Express a valuable tool for many subject areas including science, social studies and language arts. 

Wildlife Express is available by subscription and anyone can purchase a subscription for a classroom.  Teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a neighbor or club or service organization can all help a classroom get a little wild with the gift of a subscription. Teachers also receive the Educator’s Express, full of additional information and activities.