Last spring, Archer High School engineering students put their learning to work to help their younger peers at nearby Lovin Elementary. The high schoolers designed and constructed a large chicken coop at the elementary school. Plans also are in place for the engineering students to design a compost bin as part of their partnership with Lovin.
The result was so successful, that the high school students will put their knowledge and skills to work again this year, building similar coops for their other cluster elementary schools, Harbins and Cooper.
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The chickens are part of a school-wide learning initiative. The lessons tie into multiple science, math, and social studies standards across all grade levels. Lovin students learn about life cycles, ecosystems, soil, composting, micro-organisms, and more. Students also learn skills tied to obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information; asking questions; planning and carrying out investigations; and analyzing and interpreting data.
This hands-on experience puts lessons into a real-world perspective and caring for the chickens teaches students about responsibility.
Lovin Elementary works with business partners, such as Tractor Supply, Buck Jones Nursery, and Ace Hardware for supplies, advice, and care of its chickens. Home Depot also was a partner in the project.
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