Lynsey Waddle’s second-grade classroom at Lincoln Charter’s Denver campus is anxiously awaiting the results of its latest experiment.
The class is the only one in the county participating in the “4-H Embryology Hatching Project,” which is correlated with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for second grade and is designed especially for youth between second and seventh grades.
Through the three-week project, students learn about the life cycle from quail egg to bird.
Twelve 4-H families are also participating in the project, said April Dillon, Cooperative Extension agent for 4-H Youth Development.
Participants were distributed 20 quail eggs, along with 4-H incubators, on April 18, after receiving the necessary curriculum training. They were then required to set their eggs by April 22, with all quail returned to Lincoln County 4-H by this Monday.
“Some 4-H’ers will keep their quail if they have received a wild game bird permit, and others will return their quail to the 4-H office to be raised by a permitted individual,” Dillon noted.
With most due to hatch this week (and some having already done so), the anticipation is building.
Waddle said Tuesday afternoon that she expects her classroom’s quail eggs to be hatching at any moment, having spotted a crack in the shell of one of them in the morning.
The first-year teacher, who has 24 students in her class, received 23 eggs, though four weren’t fertilized.
She jumped at the chance to participate in the project, despite no real-life experience of her own on the subject.
“I’m no egg expert,” she said.
However, she knew it would provide her another way to instruct her students besides just talking to them.
“I feel like it brings the life cycle to the classroom,” she said of the hands-on approach to teaching that particular course unit.
She also raised butterflies with the class, which hatched just last week.
And while these projects certainly teach specific aspects of science, their scope goes beyond the textbook.
Waddle said her students are also learning responsibility, as well as how to solve problems and make and develop their own plans.