Field Notes from Truckee
- May 3, 2024 -

This year, we received $5,000 from the Truckee Tahoe Airport District that we put towards a six-week after-school program with the Truckee Elementary School. This was a twice-weekly program that focused on grades 3rd through 5th. The program had a bird theme where students were introduced to new bird-related knowledge, games, and science activities each session. Each session was independent so that students could join without feeling left behind while those who attended multiple sessions could continue to ask questions about birds and expand their knowledge.

Students explored bird adaptations, migration patterns, behaviors, anatomy, and more. One activity we did every day was monitoring bird feeders to see what species were in the area and observing how that changed throughout the semester as our own citizen science project! However, our most popular activity was our owl pellet examination, where the students could see what the owls were consuming and reconstruct their skeletons.

Through completing science activities focused on birds and the local environment, students were able to connect to the ecosystem that they live in and make connections that they likely would not have without this program. Observed student outcomes included excitement about science and the use of critical thinking skills. The program was well-received by the students, as we saw almost all 25 students return for multiple weeks!