The students and I built a simple small scale recirculating aquaculture system and grew giant prawns from tiny post-larvae tots to hulking examples of prawnliness.
The system worked great, the shrimp grew well, and losses were minimal.
The only heavy losses were totally due to misjudgement on my part ... underestimating raccoon cleverness and procrastination.
Both of those errors in judgement (again, mine, not the kids) happened in the "in between" time known as summer.
The prawns all came home to spend the summer with me when school shut down. They moved in to my old tilapia tank to spend the summer and await the next school year.
While raccoon predation was not an issue in the classroom, it was a challenge in an outdoor setting.
I covered the tank with old fencing and stopped that issue, but not before losing some prawns to the bandits.
The worst loss of prawns was simply due to waiting one week too long to move them back to class a year ago. A cold snap SNAPPED the last weekend before I planned to transport them back to school.
It was a sad, massive kill.
A few weeks ago, I went out to check on the final survivor (after a cold snap... arrrrgh) and he was on his side, at the bottom, immobile.
I did it again.
I dipped him up and ... he twitched!
A quick plunge into an aquarium with fresh 72 degree well water and he revived just fine, thank you maam.
Call me "Lucky".
So Lucky is now living in my new classroom, amazing everyone who sees him and triggering interest in doing the whole thing over again here at Cedar Key School.
Oh ... Lucky says to tell you he's molted since these photos were taken and has a new unbroken rostrum and bright blue claws.
Pride in appearance.
It's a shrimp thang.