Two fun math activities for kids from the exciting world of birds are now available to download from our website. Both activities were designed at NIMBioS and recently published in Discover Birds, a 36-page activity book with fun facts about our feathered friends for elementary school-aged children.
NIMBioS Deputy Director Chris Welsh and NIMBioS Education & Outreach Coordinator Kelly Sturner worked together on the project. Welsh is a past president of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society (KTOS) and studied forest-bird habitats for his PhD. Sturner also enjoys bird watching as a hobby.
One activity titled “Changing Populations” features real data from the North American Breeding Bird Surveys, where students explore how populations of Eastern Bluebird, Northern Bobwhite, and Wild Turkey have changed in Tennessee over time. The other activity, “Bird Champions,” is a simple math puzzle where kids solve arithmetic to break a code to learn about the fastest, smallest, largest, and tallest North American birds as well as the migrant with the greatest annual mileage in the world.
The book is a project of the Discover Birds program sponsored by the Tennessee Ornithological Society. Written and illustrated by artist Vickie Henderson, the book also contains other activities contributed by local naturalists and educators as well as organizations, such as the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.
The book is available for purchase for a limited time at Henderson’s website. Most of the books have already been donated to classrooms and educators. Currently, only 170 of the 1,000 copies of the first printing are left. A second printing of the book may be considered by the society in the April.