In partnership with a local organization, Rent The Chicken, Sr. Marilyn’s classroom hosted a month long, hands-on science project for the entire school. Several fertilized eggs were provided along with an incubator and all the equipment necessary to hatch and care for live chicks in the classroom.
Over the course of the month, classes drew pictures and learned about the lifecycle to prepare for the chicks’ arrival. After the first week in the incubator, the chicks were monitored through a process called “candling,” where a bright light is held up to the egg showed the development of the embryo. Students could see the beginning of development in the eggs with the light revealing veins and a dark mass moving within the shell.
After 22 days, the students arrived to school and were met with the surprise of all the chicks hatched and out of their shells. They remained in the incubator for 24 hours to dry off and stay warm. When the baby chicks were ready, the classes gathered to set up an enclosure with wooden shavings, food, and water for the hatchlings. There was also a special heater provided for the chicks to rest and stay warm. Over the following week, classrooms cared for the hatchlings by feeding them, replacing the water and cleaning the cage.
Each student had a chance to hold or pet one of the baby chicks. “Over the course of the month it was wonderful to see the students come out of their shells by caring for and checking in on the chicks. They were able to make a connection to the lifecycle process by not only seeing it but touching and really being a part of caring for hatchlings,” said Eric Spencer, Principal.
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