Sixth-grade science teachers Sarah Clouse, Sara Steigerwald, Anne Aston, and student teacher Lauren Fairley attended “ChickQuest” during the NCCS Professional Learning Day on February 16. In the article below, Mrs. Anne Aston shares the lesson with us.

ChickQuest is a Science Alive 4-H School Enrichment Program sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council that challenges youth to use science, technology, engineering, and math skills to investigate the life cycle of an embryonic chicken egg. From monitoring eggs to observing fluffy chicks, students gathered empirical evidence of reproduction and the ways multi-celled organisms use different body systems to carry out the functions of life.

We began this unit using quail eggs donated by the OSU Agriculture Extension, and we will finish the unit in May with chicken eggs provided by ChickQuest. This unit began with students waiting patiently while the embryos in our eggs developed in incubators. They monitored temperature and humidity levels daily.

A live chick hatching at 5 a.m. was videotaped and put on Schoology for all to observe. A brooding habitat was then set up in each classroom so students could observe, research, and learn about Animal Body Systems and compare them to the other Kingdoms of Life we have been studying.

Mr. Aston, a STEM teacher at the Middle School, gave his seventh-grade students the opportunity to study the needs of the chicks, and they used Autocad to design supplies and activities to fit the needs of the chicks. These designs will be presented to the class and the winning design will be produced using their 3D printer.

Each teacher is grateful to the Ohio Soybean Council for providing incubators, hygrometers, and measuring tools to gather quantitative data, and to our administrators for valuing this experience in our science classrooms.

(This article originally appeared in the North Canton City Schools Viking News, April 27, 2018.)