Students Hatch Chicks in the Classroom
Posted: January 5, 2012
Chick Embryology is our most popular School Enrichment project. This is a four week project in which fertile chicken eggs are incubated and hatched in the classroom. It is designed to help youth obtain a better understanding of the transformation of a fertilized egg into a young chick. Students learn the parts of an egg, what is needed for successful incubation, the stages of embryo development, and how to care for newly hatched chicks. The Embryology project is available to all schools in Allegheny County. The project is directed to students in grades three to eight.
Children have a natural curiosity about living things in the world around them. Building on this curiosity, students can develop an understanding of biology through direct experiences with living things, their life cycles and their habitats. The Embryology curriculum was developed with young learners in mind. Many believe students learn best by interacting with the world – by listening, observing, experimenting, and applying their knowledge to real-world situations. Each activity in the Embryology curriculum follows these steps in the experimental learning model.
An additional goal of this curriculum is to help students develop life skills. Life skills help an individual live a productive and satisfying life. With the Embryology project, students have an opportunity to develop life skills related to science processes, managing, thinking, working, relating and living a healthy life style.
The Chick Embryology project will:
• Teach responsibility and caring for a living creature,
• Teach respect for life and the value of living things,
• Emphasize “hands-on” learning experience,
• Teach youth about the reproduction process,
• Show the value of agriculture in providing food,
• Help students develop their science skills and life skills.
Here’s what students have said about the project:
“The best part was seeing how the chick hatched. It was cool how it pecked its way around the shell.”
“I liked seeing the embryos develop inside the shells.”
“The best part was when they hatched. It was really exciting. I learned so much that I didn’t know before.”
How to register for the Chick Embryology project
Classroom teachers in Allegheny County public and private schools can request the project. The project is offered three different times in 2013: the weeks starting February 19, April 1, and April 8. You must register for the project by completing the School Enrichment Project Request form. Please contact the Allegheny County Extension office at 412-473-2540 for this form. There are a limited number of slots available, so please make your request as soon as possible. After we receive your completed request form and payment, you will be sent a confirmation letter with directions for picking up the project materials.
There is a fee for the project: $35 per classroom. Schools that have 70% or more of their students eligible for free or reduced lunch do not have to pay the fee. You will receive a teacher’s book and resource materials, a book for each student, loan of an incubator, 15-18 fertile chicken eggs, feed and bedding for when the chicks hatch, and technical assistance as needed.
All project materials must be picked up at the Allegheny County Extension office at 400 North Lexington Street, Point Breeze. When a parent or teacher arrives to pick up the materials, we will demonstrate how to set up the incubator. Technical assistance is available by phone or e-mail throughout the project.