Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bird Week!

This week, students in the gardening class got a close-up look at birds!

On Monday, students learned about predator-prey relationships and adaptations by dissecting owl pellets. Although owl pellets look just like poop, we learned that over time, owls have developed two stomachs called the proventriculus and the ventriculus. The owl pellets come from the ventriculus, where the owl stores the fur and bones that it can't digest. It then spits up these pellets for students like us to dissect! We found skulls, vertebrae, ribs, and more, and through careful observation, we figured out what animals our owls had for dinner!

On Tuesday, we had a visit from Patapsco State Park's Scales and Tales program. Mr. Aaron, pictured below, brought a hawk, an owl, a crow, and a vulture to our East Harbor campus. He talked about how all of the animals made their way to Patapsco's rehab and about the adaptations these birds have developed over time. The kids were surprised by how strong a vulture's wings are and were very curious about the owl's blind eye. They had a lot of questions for Mr. Aaron!

On Wednesday, class was all about eggs, eggs, eggs! We learned about the difference between cage, barn, and free-range chickens by watching a video from Australia. Then, we did experiments on eggs. We did the float or sink test to see if the eggs from our chicken coop were old or new, and then we did a spin test to see if I secretly hard boiled them or not. Finally, we dyed the eggs using water, food coloring, and vinegar. We got to connect what we learned in cooking class about MyPlate to our experiments by talking about how eggs are a good source of protein, and then we put our learning to a very yummy taste test.

On Thursday, we went to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., where we saw not only birds, but also extinct animals, gems, mummies, and insects. 

And as always, our campus was full of geese all week!

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