“Shhh! Don’t scare the chicks!” is not the usual warning that you would find on a classroom door but thanks to a grant from FMFCU Foundation, some Delaware County students are learning more about Embryology- a 21 day incubation program for students to see the full development of a chick through candling from start to finish.
Colleen DiMaggio, gifted teacher in the Southeast Delco School District, learned about the Foundation’s latest round of Teacher Mini-Grants and was quick to jump on the opportunity to apply because she knew the program would be something her students “would always remember.” Thanks to Ms. DiMaggio’s efforts, students throughout her district have experienced this unique program first hand.
In addition to a complete curriculum with enriching curricular resources, the 4-H program provides full support including an introductory lesson, printable resources as well as accessibility to the 4-H educators throughout the duration of the in-class program. Also included is an incubator to use for the duration of the program, fertile eggs,
curriculum, food, water dishes and bedding.
The eggs were cared for by the students and have now hatched in all four schools that are part of the program, Darby Township, Harris, Sharon Hill, and Delcroft . The gifted and fifth grade students track the development of the chick using the record sheets provided within the curriculum in order to keep an accurate account of important findings throughout the project. Additionally, the curriculum provides informational daily lessons for teachers and students including access to PowerPoints, books, and other materials to use in class (worksheets, posters, articles, etc.).
As a result of this project, students introduced to the life cycle through the 4-H baby chick embryology outreach program learn more than basic science information. Overall they will become excited about science, gain knowledge of life science and are able to use scientific terminology. This project provides students with the opportunity to become more responsible during the project, become immersed in their learning and learn respect and compassion.
After the students are finished, the newly hatched chicks are off to a Chester County farm to roam and peck for the rest of their days.