A Lincoln County elementary school is teaching students valuable lessons about math and science in hands-on way.
Last fall, Pine River Elementary School received a grant from the Merrill Area Community Foundation's "Beyond Crayons and Computers" program. The project, "Coop and Poop" integrated chickens to serve as teaching tools in the classroom. In January, students and volunteers assembled the chicken coop.
Fifth Grade Teacher, Russell Noland who applied for the grant, says the project has been very rewarding. “Earlier this year my fifth grade class collected eggs from our coop and incubated them. During the incubation process we made predictions, calculated hatch rate in fractions and prevents, hypothesized, drew and recorded daily investigations”, says Noland.
The class eventually hatched 200 chicks and carried the lesson over to English class, authoring a book.
Others grades are also benefiting from the project. Noland say fourth grade has taken the roll as lunchroom leaders, and now assist the rest of the school in composting the waste from lunch. Some of the leftover are used as feed for the chickens; other food is composted in the Community Garden, next to Pine River.
Five hens and one rooster currently live in the coop. Noland tells the Merrill Foto News, the next step is to install webcams in the coop and have the students monitor the chickens’ activities.