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Middle School Science Classes Hatch Ducklings

7th grade science students handle new ducklings

The Chartiers Valley Middle School duck project is a unique opportunity for students, parents and anybody else who is interested to witness an incredible life experience. The eggs are incubating and expected to hatch soon. Watch Duck Cam Live from Ms. Whitaker and Mr. Caplan's classrooms below!

Click here to watch the ducklings live!


Mrs. Floro, CVMS Principal 

As educators, we create 21st-century learning opportunities for our students to collaborate, problem-solve,  engage in real-world learning, and innovate.  This year, we faced the challenge of less science time and the obstacles associated with construction and new teacher assignments. Rather than accepting these obstacles as limitations, our teachers decided to think outside the box.

Our teachers applied the same valued 21st-century learning expectations to themselves: they collaborated, problem-solved, and connected the duck project to our CV world and beyond through the creation of an outdoor duck hut with 24/7 webcam monitoring and video streaming on the CVSD website.  In the face of several large obstacles, Mrs. Whitaker & Mr. McAleer, skillfully navigated the obstacles to create something above and beyond the original duck unit.  


Mrs. Whitaker, 7th Grade Science Teacher

I am proud to teach my seventh grade science students biology through innovative learning techniques.  Upon receiving a grant for an incubator and supplies, I have been able to incubate duck eggs in my classroom to bring all of our science concepts to life. 


As students finish studying cells and reproduction, I obtain fertilized duck eggs from a nearby farm. Students watch the embryos develop over the incubation period relating this to their prior units. Students compare humans, other animals, plants, and bacteria to the life cycle of ducks.  They create an indoor habitat that will best support the new life.  Once ducklings hatch, we learn about genetics, heredity, natural selection and evolution while referring to the ducks.  Every day, students run to science class to see how the duckling have grown and changed.  They handle the ducklings and study their behaviors, traits, and habits. Students learn with and care for the ducklings until the last day of school in which the ducklings return to the original farm. 


This is the most rewarding experience I have ever provided for my students, and they agree. Raising ducklings in the classroom is a long-term, real-world application that applies many aspects of the science of biology.  Students tell me they will always remember this seventh grade science experience.


Mr. McAleer, Applied Engineering and Technology teacher

In addition to teaching, I have a son at the High School who experienced this project as a 7th grade student with Mrs. Tracy Brackin, and a daughter who has anxiously awaited her turn this year in Mr. Caplan’s class. The excitement this project brings to students, is amazing.  The kids are eager to meet the hatchlings, and you are sure to see many selfies with the named ducklings in early May.


After being asked if the Applied Engineering and Technology department could assist in bringing this experience to all students. I thought this would be a great opportunity for the Applied Engineering classes to get involved. Mr. Jeff Macek's High School construction classes designed and constructed an outdoor facility that will keep the ducklings safe from potential predators and warm in the absence of a mother duck after hatching. We are also excited to be able to broadcast the growth for all students at Chartiers Valley and beyond.


The eggs are expected to hatch toward the weekend of May 7, 2018.  The entire process will be broadcast for all students, parents, and anybody else who is interested in this amazing life experience.  Bookmark this page, and visit often for a live view of the hatching!


High School students constructed the ducklings' pen in the 2016-2017 school year.

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2030 Swallow Hill Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15220