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Students visit fish hatchery, weather service Tell North Platte what you think
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Dirk Higgins explains how fish are hatched
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Higgins talks about holding ponds
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Cory Martin explains radar weather maps
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Hershey third grade class. Teacher Shanna Duggan is at left and Teacher Jane Ransdell at right.

At the State Fish Hatchery in North Platte, Fish Production Manager Dirk Higgins told students Tuesday how fish eggs are harvested, hatched and raised.

More than 21 million fish are hatched each year at the hatchery. Higgins showed the students containers full of 300,000 tiny white bass.

Outside, they visited the holding ponds, where fish are fed and allowed to grow to a certain size before they are transferred to reservoirs and lakes. 

Higgins explained the science involved in raising fish. He told students that anyone interested in a career in this field should plan on having a strong background in math, chemistry and biology.

National Weather Service

The next stop for the Hershey third-graders was the National Weather Service in North Platte. 

Meteorologist Cory Martin took the students into the work area and explained the tasks involved in accurately predicting the weather. Martin let them see a weather balloon and the equipment it carries as it soars to 100,000 feet before it bursts. 

By showing kids weather maps and explaining radar, the students learned how clouds help predict storms. Program leader Steve Carmel played a video of different types of storms. He gave the students some safety tips to follow if they are caught in tornados, lightning storms or flash floods. 

Carmel told the class that the main job of the weather service was to protect lives and property. 

The students learned that Aurora, Neb. holds the record for the largest hail stone, measuring 18.75" in circumference. 

Hershey teacher Shanna Duggan said they plan a field trip to have fun and include educational opportunities regarding topics they studied.

“This year we studied about life cycles and weather, so we chose these two places to visit and reinforce what we learned in the classroom,” Duggan said.


The final stop of the day was at Cody Park with a potluck picnic.

“Everyone puts in $1 and we buy chicken and the rest of the menu is provided by parents,” she said. 

Over 70 people enjoyed the picnic, 41 of them were students. After lunch, kids played games and took advantage of the playground equipment. Before the return to Hershey, they looked at the Cody Park animals and enjoyed ice cream. 

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/21/2014
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