Submitted by Shayne Swift, Parkdale High School STEAM Coordinator:
Students at Parkdale High School hope to attract bluebirds to school grounds while also developing their academic, social and technological skills.
Twelve ninth-graders each constructed and installed their own birdhouses around Parkdale High School, and are currently monitoring their activity and gathering information to log into a national database.
Pre-International Baccalaureate ninth-graders are conducting the service project as part of the STEAM Team, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—several of the skill areas tapped for the project. Their tasks included proposal writing, constructing and decorating the birdhouses, and recording information for the Cornell Lab of Omithology NestWatch.
Students chose the birdhouse locations, based on research and a preliminary presentation from Ranger Devin Mills of the M-NCPPC Ranger's Unit. They chose areas away from foot traffic and near open grassy fields.
NestWatch tracks the status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds, including when nesting occurs, number of eggs laid, how many eggs hatch, and how many hatchlings survive, according to the NestWatch website.