New Homeschool Guide to Project FeederWatch

Homeschool students across North America can learn about science and have fun while they count birds and record information that scientists need to understand the movements and abundance of feeder birds. Project FeederWatch, a citizen-science project from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada, is a perfect fit for the homeschool curriculum. The */Homeschooler’s Guide to Project FeederWatch/* is now available online at
http://www.feederwatch.org. This guide highlights specific ways Project FeederWatch can foster inquiry-based learning in math, science, art, and other disciplines.

Project FeederWatch focuses on something children are naturally interested in: birds. “Birds move, they come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, and they are easy to watch,” says project leader David Bonter.

For 20 years FeederWatch participants from all across North America have tallied the number and kinds of birds that visit their feeders between November and April. Scientists use the data to track where the birds are across the continent and how their numbers change through time. Some of
the most dramatic changes revealed by data collected over the last two decades may be related to changes in climate.

“We’re seeing hummingbirds much farther north than usual during the winter,” says Bonter. “Warblers, wrens, woodpeckers, and other insect-eaters are also lingering longer into the northern winter, possibly because of warmer temperatures. Bird-count data gathered in the coming years will really help us focus on these trends and what might be causing them.”

The curriculum is available to download for free at the Project FeederWatch web site. An annual participation fee of $15 ($12 for Lab of Ornithology members, $35 Canadian) covers the cost of the Project FeederWatch research kit, with useful materials for a homeschooling program, including instructions and a calendar that features bird photos taken by project participants. The fee also helps support web site development, participant support and education, and data analysis.

First-time participants receive a colorful poster to help them identify birds, and the /FeederWatch Handbook/, filled with information about bird feeding and the value of FeederWatch data. Participants also receive /Winter Bird Highlights/, featuring results from the project, and a subscription to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s newsletter, /BirdScope./ Canadian participants receive /BirdWatch Canada/ from Bird Studies Canada.

U.S. residents can sign up by calling (800) 843-2473 or by visiting http://www.feederwatch.org/. Canadian residents should call (888) 448-2473, or visit http://www.bsc-eoc.org/national/pfw.html.

NV Youth Legislative Issues Forum

Greetings all,

A new program has been started called the Nevada Youth Legislative Issues Forum.
This forum is designed to allow our youth to participate in current political
issues, and to gain an understanding of our government by being an active part
in it!

Senator Valerie Wiener, who helped create this forum, is not only an advocate
for youth, but also for homeschooling. The application process is open to
homeschoolers. Applicants must be in the incoming 9th-12 grade. There will be
21 youth chosen. For more information concerning the Forum please visit the
Forum’s webpage located on the Legislature’s website (www.leg.state.nv.us) and
review the attached documents!

Attached are electronic copies of: (1) the cover letter from Senator Wiener to
homeschool educators; (2) S.B. 247 which created the Forum; and (3) the
application for the Forum.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the
Constituent Services Unit of the Legislative Counsel Bureau at (775) 687-8620
or at www.leg.state.nv.us/lcb/research/CSU/feedbackmail.cfm.

This is a great opportunity to be active in civics and to make a mark in future
legislative sessions. Thanks to Senator Wiener for making this possible for us!

Elissa Wahl
Officer Nevada Homeschool Network

Become a National Argonaut

I got this today from the Jason Project and thought I would pass it on. Wish my kids were old enough. This looks so cool!

Do you love exploration and discovery?
Apply today to become a National Argonaut!

The JASON Project is looking for energetic students and teachers to go into the field and work side-by-side with leading scientists from National Geographic Society, NASA, NOAA and other prestigious organizations.

Joined by video production crews, JASON Argonauts will conduct cutting-edge science, become featured in new curriculum used in classrooms worldwide and serve as science ambassadors at-large!

Your responsibilities will include:

An intensive week-long “Boot Camp” to prepare you for science fieldwork
An onsite expedition with world-class Host Researchers who are experts in the next curriculum topic: energy!
Refining and reviewing curriculum components such as videos, digital labs and Web site materials
Interacting with JASON students and teachers everywhere via speaking engagements, message board postings, Web casts, and podcasts
Mentoring other students and teachers and becoming a role model in the JASON community!
Apply early for the Argonaut competition! The application deadline is Monday, March 3, 2008 with selections announced in June. Students must be age 14 or 15 by June 1, 2008 and teachers should have five years of classroom experience to be eligible.

JASON Argonauts come from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Click here now to get started on the experience of a lifetime!

Learn More About JASON Argonauts!

Apply Now to Become a National Argonaut!