By Kristin Bednarski
Paul Moore, an eighth-grade science teacher at Batavia Middle School, and several of his students will be attending the Ohio School Boards Association’s Capital Conference in Columbus in November to showcase their Koi in the Classroom project.
Batavia Local School District Board of Education members commended Moore for his achievement during their meeting Oct. 15 and wished him well at the conference.
“It’s been a great project,” Moore said. “We’re very excited to present it.”
Moore developed the idea to construct a Koi pond in his classroom last year after he built a Koi pond in his yard at home.
“It gives you a new perspective,” Moore said about the pond. “I thought, anyone can put an aquarium in their classroom, I wanted to go beyond that.”
Moore said the pond was built by last year’s students, and his current students continue to maintain the pond and care for the fish.
He said the 425 gallon pond contains nine fish, a mix of Koi and goldfish, and has created many educational opportunities since he added it to his classroom.
“We have had to clean the fish pond, feed them and take out some of the old water,” Sessaley Weitlauf, one of Moore’s students, said. “It is different because no other class has it.”
Conner Gadbury, another student, also said he has learned a lot from having the pond in the classroom.
“It’s responsibility,” Gadbury said. “We clean it and make sure it is maintained and feed the fish.”
Gadbury said after taking care of the pond at school he thinks he will have a Koi pond one day.
Moore said he has been able to incorporate the pond in educational activities whether they are discussing life cycles, cultural diversity or even math.
Moore’s pond was featured in Ponds USA and Water Gardens, a national magazine, and now, students will be showcasing the pond at the OSBA Capital Conference Nov. 11-14 in Columbus.
The conference features a variety of speakers, a trade show as well as a student achievement fair, where students display and talk about innovative programs at their districts.
Moore said several students have completed projects about the pond that they will showcase at the conference including a smaller rendering of the pond, artwork and written projects.
“It gives us a chance to highlight some of the good things our district does,” Moore said about attending the conference. “We’ve received national attention which is really nice.”