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Orchards first-graders’ eggs fail to hatch

Students monitored 14 eggs as part of hands-on project

By , Columbian Education Reporter
Published: February 12, 2018, 10:26pm

A valiant attempt at “project-based learning” – a bit of educational jargon encompassing hands-on projects — got a bit too real for Orchards Elementary School.

Four baby chicks, barely hatchlings, died in a first-grade classroom over the weekend.

They are survived by four classrooms of undoubtedly bummed out 5- and 6-year-olds.

The elementary school’s first-grade students have spent several weeks studying the life cycle — including its end — of chickens. The cherry on top for the lesson? An incubator filled with 14 eggs, promising a chance for the students to see their studies come literally to life.

But that was not to be. The eggs, purchased online from mypetchicken.com, never hatched. Four appeared to be hatching over the weekend, but their efforts to see the sunny side of life met a hard-boiled end.

Emily Humphrey, associate principal at the elementary school, said the teachers are regrouping to decide how to proceed. They’ll likely buy new eggs and start over, and have a conversation with the students about what happened.

“That’s how life goes, and that’s an important part of what they’re learning,” Humphrey said. “It’s the whole life cycle.”

Despite the unhappy ending, Humphrey said the project was still a valuable learning experience.

“It’s an authentic piece,” Humphrey said. “They can still learn a lot even though the ones that are hatching didn’t make it.”

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