The students at East Newton High School participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).

The students at East Newton High School participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC).
The GBBC is a nationwide effort - sponsored by Cornell University and the Audubon Society - to monitor the number of birds in the United States and their distribution. Kevin Mouser’s ecology students braved the cold weather and crisp wind to count the birds as part of the class, and as an opportunity to participate in a citizen science project.
In preparation for the project, and to improve their chances of seeing a few birds, students were encouraged to build bird feeders out of recycled material to hang around the high school campus. Students worked for a week with a variety of materials including coffee cans, pencils, and pop bottles in order to create works of art that function to entice the birds to visit the viewing area, a little wild area maintained by the science department next to the school.
Students researched different styles of bird feeders and the birds that they were trying to attract in order to build effective bird feeders. They also experienced the joy of being a little messy while solving the age old problem of, “Now, how was I going to get the seed into this?”
The students, mostly juniors and seniors, had a great time watching and counting the birds from the relative comfort of a blind, a school bus with the heater running pulled up next to the parking lot.
The student excitement was palpable and evident by statements such as, “We aren’t going to be graded on this, right?”