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Fishful Thinking

RCEF Grant Proposal 2018

Isabel Kuniholm

Pacific Community Charter School

2018-2019 School Year



The science curriculum this year will focus on studying our local fisheries and Northern Californian marine ecosystems. I would like to incorporate many hands-on and engaging elements into the curriculum so that students will be actively involved in the learning process. This grant will directly fund two exciting parts of this curriculum.

Firstly, this grant will allow me to purchase the necessary equipment to hatch steelhead eggs in the classroom. This is part of the California Aquarium Education Program or “Trout in the Classroom”, a community based organization that provides teachers with the training necessary to hatch steelhead eggs and release them with their students. This is an exciting opportunity for students to learn about how to maintain and preserve out local aquatic ecosystems and to study the steelhead lifecycle. In most counties, the CAEP organization also provides teachers with a sponsor who helps the teacher acquire and set up an aquarium. However, Mendocino County is the only county which provide teachers with a sponsor. Therefore, this grant will allow me to purchase an aquarium and proper water cooling equipment, so that I can safely hatch the steelhead eggs in our classroom.

Secondly, this grant will allow me to purchase the art materials necessary for an integrating art/science project. Students will be studying a marine animal that is native to our Northern California coast. With the expertise from local artists, each student will paint a picture of their marine animal on canvas and write an informative piece discussing the importance of the species to our coastal ecosystem. All paintings will be displayed together in our community library in order to educate the public about these important marine species. Funds from this grant will help us purchase canvases and paint for all twenty -one students.



We will be picking up our steelhead eggs from a hatchery in Ukiah in February. Students will have a few weeks to observe the eggs as they begin to hatch and grow into fry. We will then have a field trip to the Russian River in late March, where we will release the steelhead (regulations allow hatchery steelhead in the Russian River and tributaries). The art project will be completed this fall and will be displayed at the Coast Community library this winter and at the Gualala Arts Center this spring.


Potential for Others:

Hatching fish eggs in my classroom will provide opportunities for numerous lessons and activities for students of all ages at the Pacific Community Charter School. I directly teach science to students in 3rd-8th grade, but my classroom is often used by younger students in Kindergarten-2nd grade. Therefore, all students will have the opportunity to observe the steelhead as they hatch and grow.

The art project that this grant will help make happen, will be produced by the middle school students, but it will be displayed for the public to enjoy and learn from.

I would also be happy to share my lesson plans for each of these projects with any interested teachers in the area.



Budget: Estimated costs


“Trout in the Classroom”

Twenty Gallon Aquarium: $100.00

Powerhead for tank: $25.00

Ice Probe to cool water in tank: $150.00

Temperature controller: $20.00


Art Project:

21 canvases: $85.00

Acrylic paint: $40.00


Total Estimated Cost: $420.00



Thank you for taking the time to consider this grant proposal. If funded, I think this project has great potential to really enhance our science curriculum!

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