STEAM Academy welcomes raptor visit


XENIA — Things will be looking up at the Community STEAM Academy — literally.

Kayla Lawyer, lead naturalist from the Yellow Springs Raptor Center in Glen Helen, will be bringing various raptors (birds of prey) to the school on Friday, Feb. 23.

The 9 a.m. visit to the school, 955 Lower Bellbrook Road, will involve ninth grade students who will interact with the raptor team in groups of 20. The students are learning about predator birds and as part of a project-based class taught by Sue Norad, students will be building six housing cages for Eastern Blue Birds who are very affected by raptors.

Environmental needs of the birds are being taught which involves building the cages through Maker Space, which teaches textile building and construction. The bird study could cover many different areas of curriculum.

Students are working with the Ohio Blue Bird Society, a state-wide science program which monitors and records data that protects small birds from extinction. The academy addresses national, regional, and global concerns by seeking to support this initiative.

Another hands-on project the class is working on with Greene County Parks & Trails involves designing a bridge for a creek that is eroding away. That project involves studying different bridge structures and working with the local port authority.

Students are also working with Gail Matson at the food pantry on how to redesign the flow of the walkways/aisles that patrons use. And at One Bistro, students are working with Diane Dixon on nutrition planning and how to do a business plan, according to Tammy Kincer, partnership director.

“Students are always working on a challenge and solutions to a problem,” she said.

Said Dr. Jeremy Ervin, academy founder and CEO, “This project achieves our goal to utilize an active brain-based, student-first, model of instruction ensuring personalized education of every student.”

The academy currently has an enrollment of 148 students, in grades 6-9. There will be an open enrollment for grades 4-9 next year.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

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