Have you ever wondered how to hatch a chicken egg?

Rising to the challenge: Michigan 4-H developed videos to provide support for our 4-H Embryology program.

Chicks in an incubator
Chicks in an incubator. Photo by Kaelie Fessler, MSU Extension.

Have you ever wondered how to hatch a chicken egg? The Michigan 4-H Embryology Online Learning Series is focused on the science of hatching chicken eggs. This six-part D2L course is designed to provide support for 4-H volunteers, informal educators, classroom teachers (in-person and virtual), homeschool groups, parents and other adults interested in teaching youth about embryology and the science of hatching chicken eggs. 

Children checking eggs in incubator
Children checking the eggs in the incubator. Photo by Tarin Minkel.

In the Michigan 4-H Embryology Course, youth explore the developmental process and stages of chicken growth and basic chicken reproduction and cell division. Through this program, youth will also gain a deeper respect for life and the value of living things as their understanding of the care required for a living thing grows. By the end of their participation in Michigan 4-H Embryology, students will be able to:

  • Identify the parts of an egg and their functions.
  • Explain what is required to hatch an egg, how it hatches naturally and artificially.
  • Describe different methods to observe a developing embryo and different stages of development.
  • List what a chick needs to live and how to care for them.
  • Explain how record keeping is important in science.
Children checking the eggs in the incubator
Photo by Tarin Minkel

Each year, youth and schools across Michigan participate in the 4-H Embryology program. This program is usually a partnership between 4-H staff and schools. Due to COVID-19 pandemic safety considerations, 4-H staff have been unable to provide the normal face-to face support. As a result of some creative thinking, Michigan State University Extension is excited to introduce the Embryology Online Learning Series, a set of videos supporting the 4-H Michigan Embryology program. This is an in-depth educational experience that teachers and families can utilize during the pandemic or when meeting in-person is limited.

For more information about the Embryology Online Learning Series supporting Michigan 4-H Embryology, visit the website or contact us at 4hemb@msu.edu.

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