University of Illinois Extension serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties
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Christian County Ag in the Classroom is hatching fun and learning in local classrooms
April 19, 2017
CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ill. – Students ranging in age from preschool to fifth grade in Kincaid, Morrisonville, Pana, Rosamond, and Taylorville are learning about chicken embryology up close by hatching chicks in the classroom. The project is offered by the University of Illinois Extension Agricultural Literacy’s “Ag in The Classroom” program. Charlotte Schuricht, Christian County Agricultural Literacy Program Coordinator said, “This lesson is very popular with schools because it is both fun and educational. It’s something the students never forget.”
This marked the tenth year kindergarten teacher Amy Kent, from Taylorville North Elementary School, participated in the program. Kent said, “We had an amazing experience hatching a dozen chicks. We had so much fun participating in this project and learning the life cycle of the chicken as well as doing many fun activities to support it. All twelve chickens went home with four different loving families from our class. We are very thankful for the U of I Extension office and their staff for allowing us this wonderful opportunity.”
In addition to hatching chicks, students learn about chicken Embryology – “the branch of biology and medicine concerned with the study of embryos and their development,” Schuricht explained. Each classroom houses the chicken eggs in incubators with automatic turners. Students are responsible for checking that their incubator is maintaining a constant temperature between 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping the humidity level between 45%-55%. This is accomplished by adding water to small troughs in the incubators.
Schuricht described that, “On hatch day, students start seeing ‘pips” or a small hole created by an egg tooth. This indicates to student’s that their chicks are ready to hatch.” She added, “It’s been very exciting for the students. I gave each class an incubation calendar to follow. The calendar explains what’s happening inside the egg every day.” At the conclusion of the project, the baby chicks are distributed to their new homes.
Classrooms participating in the program include: First Baptist Christian Academy Kindergarten in Pana; the first, second and third grade class at First Baptist Christian Academy in Rosamond; Morrisonville first grade; two kindergarten classes at North School in Taylorville; two third grade classes at Lincoln Elementary in Pana; Davis Memorial Christian Church Preschool in Taylorville; Sacred Heart Pana Kindergarten; a fourth grade class in Memorial Elementary in Taylorville and the fifth grade class at South Fork Elementary in Kincaid.
For more information about this program, please contact Charlotte Schuricht at the Christian County Extension office in Taylorville at 217-287-7246.
University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact our office. Universidad de Illinois ofrece igualdad de oportunidades en programas y empleo. Si usted necesita un ajuste razonable para participar en este programa, por favor póngase en contacto con nuestra oficina.
Source: Terri Miller, County Extension Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Contact: Charlotte Schuricht, Program Coordinator, Agriculture Literacy, email@example.com