Friday 3rd March, 2017
10:15am to 11:15am
Where Will Yoni the Chickadee Raise His Family? Middle School Students Designing and Constructing Novel Nest Boxes to Frustrate Invasive Avian Raiders
Middle school students analyze and share how invasive avian species compete for nest boxes for native populations of Parus major (chickadee) in the Global Awareness, Involvement, and Action (GAIA) Project.
Introduced birds have the potential to negatively affect our natural ecology. Some species, such as the Syrian Woodpecker, Monk Parakeet, Common Myna, are known to compete with native chickadee (Parus major) populations for nest cavities installed to benefit native birds —a critical resource that has already been severely reduced by loss of natural habitats.
Students enrolled in GAIA work collaboratively with science mentors as citizen scientists to develop a deeper understanding of the complex interactions between native and non-native avian species and the nest box design challenges for restoring declining chickadee populations. Through scientific research, community engagement, and sharing collected data, the students work toward developing and implementing a sustainable solution for providing a home for Yoni the chickadee.
The GAIA project middle school teachers support their students’ language and literacy through science notebooks, the creation of a science story with a chickadee named Yoni as the lead character, and presentations at a symposium. This enables these science teachers to become advocates of literacy in science, blending oral and written communication skills within the science curriculum.
During this session, the presenters will share how the students’ nest box design investigations are aligned with the NGSS MS-LS2-1, 2, 4, 5: Engaging in argument from evidence, Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience as well as the cross-cutting concept cause and effect. Several projects will be showcased, including how students analyze and interpret changes in population data over 3-5 years, evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services (MS-LS2-5), and provide evidence for their arguments about the effects of resource availability on populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
GAIA raises student awareness of the natural world to provoke inquiry investigations and facilitates the use of sophisticated instruments to collect data for analysis, interpretation and dissemination to their school community. GAIA organizes inter-school research activities to give students the opportunity to work and learn with each other as citizen scientists, integrate English language arts (ELA) or second language acquisition within science instruction. function productively as problem-solvers in the natural world and present their research in a symposium with scientists and community stakeholders.
K-8 Science Coordinator, NVSF Project Director and Lecturer at Tel Aviv University
Dr. Stuart Fleischer began his career teaching high school science in Jupiter, Florida. Four years later he moved to Israel. Dr. Fleischer is the project director for the NESA Virtual Science Fair, which is a hybrid science fair now going into its 16th year. With over 30 international schools around the globe participating and 10,000+ students, the NVSF is unique in its hybrid traditional and online format. Dr. Fleischer has also developed the GAIA Project (Global Awareness, Investigation and Action) which is a student based research initiative on based on solving local environmental issues. Schools in Israel, the Czech Republic, Greece are presently participating.
Dr. Stuart Fleischer has presented numerous times for NSTA as well 75+ workshops and lectures in over 20 countries.
The Barn Owl Expert of Israel
Dr. Motti Charter, is one of the worlds leading owl ornithologists today. He has published over 35 scientific articles and has been scientific coordinator of Israel's barn owl nesting box project since 2007. The project promotes using owls instead of poison to control rats and other pests. It has resulted in placement of nearly 3,000 barn owl nesting boxes in seven regions within Israel.
Charter was inducted in the World Owl Hall of Fame in 2014. In addition, the owl research and an important goal his work is to raise public awareness about the usefulness of raptors and the benefits that humans can derive from environmentally friendly agricultural practices. In addition, barn owls are the ultimate tool to explain to people that biodiversity is important.
He has participated in educational projects both in the American International Schools in Israel, Czech Republic and Greece.
Please find a video on one of the projects https://youtu.be/7nIkebIZr9I
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