Science event teaches second-grade students about birds

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COLUMBIA - Second-grade students had a chance to learn in a new environment. Friday they visited the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary to learn more about birds.

Columbia Public Schools says nearly 800 Columbia students stepped out the classrooms to learn more about birds.

Stokley Wexler, 2nd grade student at Fairview Elementary school said, he liked a field trip because he was able to enjoy a fresh air and to see live birds.

"Red Tail Hawk's tail is not actually red," Wexler said,"It's more orange color and rest is brown."

Mike Szydlowski, CPS Science Coordinator, said the field trip had 4 stations, were students were catching live birds, seeing live owls, learned about bird's adaptation. They got the opportunity to witness scientists catch live wild birds while taking data, banding them, and releasing them.

"Reactions varied between kids. Many were amused to see live owls," said Trevor LaClair, education coordinator at Raptor Rehabilitation project. 

Szydlowski, said second grade is the right time to introduce science for students.

"Research says if student does not appreciate science by 4th grade they often won't because it is getting harder," Szydlowski said,"We want them to love science and scientist should be loved, there are so many things to discover."

CPS organized the event the third year. It was sponsored by CPS, Columbia Audubon Society, Missouri River Bird Observatory and Raptor Rehabilitation Project in Columbia.

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to fix the misspelling of "classrooms."]