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STEM learning, peer to peer, with ChickQuest

David Lockard, an Instructional Coach in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, shared about his students’ experience with the ChickQuest program.

This year, the third grade scholars at Daniel E. Morgan School in Cleveland had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the ChickQuest program. We also included the early elementary and middle school SPED students in the program, regardless of their grade levels.

ChickQuest was a complete success! As soon as the students found out we would be completing this project-based learning experience, they were filled with excitement and enthusiasm! On the day scholars received their accompanying workbooks, they couldn’t wait to peruse them and complete a “scavenger hunt” to find assorted information and familiarize themselves with the content!

Daily, the students would ask me, “When are we getting our chicks?!” I had to remind them that they would be receiving fertilized eggs, which we would watch produce the chicks.

Every step of the program was exciting to the students. If I was not in the building due to a meeting, they would ask Ms. Armstrong, their classroom teacher, “Where is our science teacher? When is he coming back?” Their enthusiasm for the various STEM activities was huge. They carefully monitored the amount of water added to the incubator to keep the humidity at 60%, and used a metric marked beaker to measure the correct level. The first student who learned to carefully measure the water then taught another classmate to do so, using the proper scientific terminology. That student taught another, and so on! It was a treat seeing the students enthusiastically taking on the role of “teacher” and “scientist” during the lessons.

“Hatch Day” was a huge event for the scholars! The chicks began emerging on the 20th day, so it was one day earlier than anticipated, but the students assured me that this was “OK because they can hatch a day early or late.” After six of the 13 eggs hatched, several students excitedly asked Ms. Armstrong if they could read to the chicks! When she allowed them to do so, they encircled the brooder (a bin with a screen and heat lamp) with their chairs and took turns reading to the babes!

Ms. Armstrong, Ms. Jenkins (the Inclusion Specialist), Ms. Wentz (SPED Instructor), and Ms. Arrington (SPED Instructor) all participated to make this an extraordinary event for their scholars! As the Instructional Coach for the building, I guided them through the various activities and lessons in the workbook. I am truly happy with the enthusiasm of the students, and the success of the ChickQuest program. This is truly a phenomenal STEM program for scholars of all ages and abilities! I look forward to engaging in the program once again next school year!

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