Embryology is defined as science that deals with the study and development of an embryo. In this project, participants will learn how life develops by observing chicken eggs that you will set in your incubator. The 4-H club leader(s) as well as the youth will be responsible for the daily care of the incubator and eggs throughout the process.
Children have a natural sense of curiosity about living things in the world around them. Building on this curiosity, students can develop an understanding of biology concepts through direct experience with living things, their life cycles and their habitats. 4-H has always promoted “hands on” activities through its many project areas, most specifically embryology. This project allows its participants to learn by listening, observing, experimenting and applying their knowledge to real-world situations.
How Do You Get Started? If I attempted to list all the steps involved in the 4-H Embryology Project I would eventually run out of room in this posting. The recommended step to take in getting this project off the ground is to contact and partner with your 4-H extension agent. They may be able to help you get started by securing an incubator, identifying a reliable source for fertile eggs, and provide additional resources in the form of “project and/or record books” for the youth participating in the project. The agent will also be able assist with planning your calendar, establishing a location for the hatched chicks and to troubleshoot just in case problems arise throughout the project. There are many different types of incubators that can be used to hatch eggs but working with your 4-H professional to make sure you have the right one for your project is essential to having a successful hatch.
What If I’ve Done This Project Before? If you are already familiar with how to set up your embryology project it is still recommended to inform your 4-H extension agent so they can keep an accurate record of the number of youth engaged in the embryology project while at the same time provide the support and additional assistance that may be needed.
So What’s Next? Decide along with your club members where the incubator will be kept, follow your 4-H Embryology Project Book Curriculum and watch in amazement as the youth in your club develop their curiosity, increase the communication with each other, and deepen their understanding of science, engineering and technology while taking a journey through an unforgettable experience.