As I was telling my husband about how cool it was that I was, at that second, watching the mom eagle re-adjust the 2 eaglets and 1 egg under her, he informed me that I was a bit behind because he had heard about it on public radio that morning. He told me that it was like the viral videos on YouTube but real time. I looked back down at the screen only to realize I was 1 in more than 177,000 people viewing the webcam at that moment and that the site has had more than 11 million views since starting.
In a matter of minutes I learned that the pair of eagles have been together for almost 4 years in this area and have had hatched and fledged (got them to flight stage) 8 eaglets (not chicks) total. That this is their second nest in the area and this one was built in 2007; the first blew down in a storm. That the nest is 5-6 feet across and deep and figured out that it weighs around 1 1/2 tons (3000 pounds). I looking up details like how much a ton is, what you call a baby eagle, and what fledged means. Just think of where you could take this in your classroom.
Then, this morning, I opened my email to see a friendly message from the people at The Futures Channel telling me about science videos and lessons they offer on their site for teachers to use to teach concepts such as Algebra and one of the links was to their Saving the Bald Eagle video. What an opportunity for teachers to engage and excite their students with the wonders of science and math all through something that is happening right now.
The challenge now...how can you weave this cool, exciting, interesting, neat, real-time event and resources into your day. Into lessons that will help your students understand how science and math affects them every day for all their days to come but will also prepare them for the state assessment tests that are coming just around the corner.