Since 2014, second grade students (approximately 20) have been collecting data on the weight of the eggs laid by the hens to determine which weigh more, brown or white eggs. Students use balance scales as well as a PASCO sensor to weigh the eggs and document their findings. They package the eggs and sell them to the community (see photos below). The money raised is used to purchase feed for the hens.
Plant and Soil Research
Since 2012, second grade students (approximately 20) have been studying plants and their needs. This year the study was extended to ask the question, "what happens when one or more of those needs is not met?". Students designed research experiments in which they determined the variables they made available to their plants and those that were denied. Three times a week the plants are observed, changes noted, and conclusions were drawn. As an extension, students are now working with Dr. James Thompson, soil scientist at West Virginia University, to study soils and their impact on plants (see photos below).
2016-2017 students worked in groups to conduct their plant study. They each documented observations in a journal and worked together to take photos and write descriptions of their plants on chart paper. Dr. Thompson used maps with land features to discuss why soils can be different colors and the impact on plants.
Biological Stream Studies
Since 2004, several times a year second grade students (approximately 20) conduct biological stream studies in Snowy Creek. They learn about the benthic macro-invertebrates that live in the stream and categorize photographs based on physical attributes. Students go to the stream to locate and identify these benthic macro-invertebrates and document their findings on a data collection sheet. Students extend their learning by studying the stream ecosystem. They research specifics on the physical characteristics of the insects and use various materials to build three-dimensional models of them. They study the life cycle of each insect and the living and non-living factors that contribute to this unique ecosystem (see photos below).
Click below to read a book written by the 2016 second grade class.