Faith Bruck with Logan-Magnolia High School is the 2018 recipient of the Brass Bluegill award from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fish Iowa! program.
In 2015, Logan-Magnolia Schools’ science teacher K.C. Kersten received a grant through Monsanto to develop a fishing pond and wetland area next to the school. The pond was stocked in the fall of 2016. In 2017, Bruck capitalized on the outdoor interests of her students and the newly stocked pond to create excitement about lifetime recreational activities through fishing.
Bruck also drew on student knowledge and expertise, having more experienced students help those who were just learning how to fish. About 85 students spent several weeks fishing and caught and released bluegill, bass, catfish and walleye during their Fish Iowa! unit. Pictures of students with their catches were posted on the school website.
Bruck’s classes sparked a strong interest in fishing. Students continued to fish on weekends and they asked to do more fishing activities. Her unit also made many cross-curricular connections with the junior and senior high science classes, helping students become more aware of their environment and more conservation-minded.
Bruck and her colleagues currently are exploring ways to expand the fishing unit and take advantage of the on-site pond to incorporate other opportunities to get students active outside and enjoying Iowa’s natural resources.
Bruck was honored at the Sept. 13 Natural Resources Commission meeting. She received a plaque and a set of 16 spinning rods and reels for use with her classes.
The Brass Bluegill award has been presented each year since 1996 to an outstanding local program that exemplifies the goals of the Fish Iowa! Angler Education program.