12 baby chickens were born this week in Appling, not on a farm, but in a school.
For 22 days, students at North Columbia Elementary have watched from eggs in an incubator to the furry fluff balls they are now.
The chicks even have their own live stream on youtube so students can keep up with their progress from home.
“I had a parent say, what am I going to do today? The chicks have already hatched. I don’t know what to do. We spent the whole day yesterday watching,'” second grade teacher Mrs. Candy Candler explains. “It’s a 2nd grade project, but the whole school is involved.”
North Columbia Elementary is working towards a S.T.E.A.M certification, which stands for the integration of science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
“With the chickens, we talk about the life cycle. We will be building a coup. We can tie in our math standards. We can tie in engineering because they help design the coup,” says Mrs. Candler. “We talked about doing a breaking news segment.”
On Friday, students recorded a news segment for their morning show. They stood in front of a green screen and afterwards, their teacher put the video of the baby chickens behind them.
“Sorry to interrupt you, but breaking news. Hatching at NCE. Crack! Crack! The eggs are hatching at NCE,” one student said into the camera.
Mrs. Candler explains why their assignments are about more than just the cuteness factor.
“This could lead children going down the path of agriculture. We could have children who could take a fascination in engineering and go into building and construction. We have kids who might like the technology part and go into television and if not being on the TV, but writing, producing movies, producing scripts. Anything and everything this can help build,” Mrs. Candler says.
Lowe’s donated the materials for the chicken coup so these guys are here to stay. Mrs. Candler plans to incorporate the chickens in future lessons.
“We know we won’t have eggs right away, but again, tying that back into the curriculum. We can bake. We can do cakes. We have Dr. Seuss day in March–green eggs and ham and then for the summer, I would really like to take them home, but my husband says no,” Mrs. Candler says with a laugh. “We have other parents who have coups at home already and then start back over again next year.”
Another grade is working on a compost project and they plan to feed the worms from the compost pile to the chickens when they grow up.