Chicks help Reynoldsburg students get life lessons in agriculture

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REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio - Which came first, the chicken or the egg? For third grade students at Herbert Mills Elementary School in Reynoldsburg, the eggs came first.

Thanks to a partnership with The Ohio State University, 4-H and the Ohio Soybean Council, the students learned how to care for the eggs until they hatched, utilizing their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education along the way.

"They've just had so many questions," says teacher Meredith Karg, "about, you know, what type of chickens are we going to have? What are they going to look like? What are they going to do? How are they going to survive?"

The kids utilized techniques like "candling" to test an egg for freshness or fertility by holding it to the light. From there, they conducted several experiments using the scientific method. "First, you ask a question," said one of the students. "Then you, you collect data. You observe. Like, we observed the eggs." The kids documented their research in ChickQuest logbooks provided by the soybean council. "All the labs are in here. It's been an awesome resource," said Ms. Karg. "They've been able to record everything and go back and reflect on what they've learned."

Kirk Merritt with the Ohio Soybean Council said the reason the organization provides all of the equipment for schools to hatch the chicks is simple: "Helping students understand modern agriculture, promoting STEM education, and trying to get students excited about the opportunities in agriculture."

The students named all of the chicks, too. When the school year ends, little Lambo, Mint Tooth, Eggo, Chi Chi, Oreo and Baby Joey will have new homes with staff members who've adopted them.

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