Challenges for our younger members.
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Challenges for our younger members.

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Challenges for our younger members.
Old 11-24-2006, 09:58 AM   #1
caferacermike's Avatar
Challenges for our younger members.

Ok I really never participate in Off Topic but here I am.

I've been challenging a very bright member of the community to start a local fish club at her school. It appears that family members think our hobby is a waste of time and that schooling/bookwork is far more important.

Hogwash I declare!! I say that our hobby forces us to have social circles important for growing young minds into outstanding citizens with a voice. I feel that caring for the hobby at a young age builds enthusiastic young adults with agendas. Think of the possibilites this hobby could lead to for a young girl or boy. Science needs more women in professional roles, a hobby like this could help change that. An interest in fish opens an interest into so many fields and careers the connections are almost limitless. Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy are all parts of the hobby. Want to be an accountant? Well think of all the financial risks involved with the hobby and put together a plan to recoup your money through breeding. Not an easy task. Want to be a biologist in a medical field? Fish are creating tons of new medicines every year. Want to save the planet? Having a heart felt connection with your tanks will help provide the answers. Every move we make in our hobby is connected to the rest of the world. Buying fish creates industry, good or bad, in far away lands. When the collectors ruin their waters groups like MAC (Marine Aquarium Council) are started. Those groups need people working for them with the local farmers and collectors. So in part the careers of owning your own shop (one of my lfs is staffed with people that have Doctorates in marine sciences), working with collectors, owning a wholesale operation, working as a veternarian etc.. etc.. These are all jobs that have the possiblity of paying very handsome salaries.

My challenge was to start a fish club at her middle school. I would like to extend that challenge to all of our school aged members.

I'm collecting resources to help right now.

I'd like to recommend Aquarium Fish magazine Dec 2006 and TFH Tropical Fish Hobbyist August 2005.

Please research

Right now is the best time to get started. When you get back next week bring it up to your favorite science teacher and approach the Principal. You'll need to come up with a good plan of action and goals. Plan on where the tank/tanks will be. Figure out how to fund it. Ask your local fish shops for donations and offer to hang a banner with their name on it. Same for places of business that your parents work at. There is funding available to the schools as well. Get your plan together. Get approval. Get started over Xmas break. Come back in January to running tanks. Cycle by Feb and add fish. Create a club. Have meetings. Designate people to tasks.

Write out want ads on your local craigslist asking for donations. You would be surprised how many cheap or free tanks would be donated to this cause.

Most important,


Best of luck. I hope the person I challenged reads this and adds her goals and ideas that she is currently working on. Anyone above the school age it would be great to hear any ideas or successes you've had in school programs that might be of help.
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Old 11-24-2006, 05:16 PM   #2
flatcam1's Avatar
Very nice post cm.

i am planning to do something like that next year at my high school.
i brought it up with my school now and they said it wouldn't be a good idea.
i have a friend who loves pleco's and fish.
he doesn't know very much about them but he is still learning.
he wants to join one of these sights but he doesn't have a e-mail address.
nor does he have the internet.
we know how to help him but it is very hard to fix.
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:46 PM   #3
That is why my kids started in this hobby when there were born. My son actually takes care of his tanks with some help and supervision and he's only 4.
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Old 11-28-2006, 11:46 AM   #4
Alexis's Avatar
Well, Funny that this should come up.
For those that think fishkeeping is a waste of time, this is what happened to me YESTERDAY.

A friend of mine is graduating with a BSE in Chemical Engineering ins something like 11 days from now. This girl has always made a face when I mentioned my fish.

She came to my office in a snit yesterday. Seems that she is taking field geochemistry and MUST pass it to graduate (naturally).

She showed me a rough draft report on some body of water and the relationship between dissolved oxygen, nitrate levels, and fish kills.

Turns out that this rough draft is worth 30% of her grade, and she got a 63%.

I had to spend 20 minutes telling her that her grade was accurate, and that she knew absolutely nothing about her topic.
Then I had to spend a further 30 minutes teaching her the nitrate cycle, and the relationship between dissolved Oxygen, temperature, and dissolved organics while she took notes.

At the end, this girl, who had made faces at the fishkeeping hobby, said:

"I didn't realize that it was all chemistry. No wonder you like it, it's pretty cool."
Now, mind you, this is a chemical engineer, with a B+ average.
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