Each year since 1983, the Marshfield elementary children have been able to experience spring "up close and personal" with chicks and ducks. The University of Missouri Extension Office, home of a host of educational opportunities, has extended their assistance in this hatching venture. Mrs. Herring, the K-6 ARC teacher, prepares handouts and arranges for the sign-up and delivery of incubators. Teachers who are interested in participating are brought incubators on a Friday for set-up, then the following Monday eggs are brought by Jeannie Moreno, the Extension Youth Programs leader. In the early years of this embryology unit, the chicks and ducklings took the regular amount of time to hatch (21 days for chicks and 28 days for ducks). For the last 30 years, Mrs. Moreno has been able to work with a hatchery to obtain eggs that have already been incubated for all but the last 2-3 days of their gestation. This way students have a quick turn-around time to see results. Even though the hatchery has moved 30 minutes further away, Mrs. Moreno makes the effort to obtain the eggs for she has seen the benefits of young children learning about life cycles under their own hands. Her children and grandchildren were/are students at Marshfield and also in 4-H.
This week Hubble Elementary is hatching chicks and ducks, then Mrs. Herring will collect the incubators at Hubble and transport them over to Webster Elementary where another round of spring babies are anticipated.
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