WARRENTON - Local teachers may be feeling overwhelmed by trying to squeeze state curriculum standards and expectations into a shortened school year, but three Warrenton educators have found a tool that makes their jobs easier and gives their students a hands-on learning experience.

Warrenton Grade School teachers Betsy Mahoney, Rebecca Sullivan and Dee Hartley have partnered with the 4-H program to give their students an Incredible Egg Adventure. The Incredible Egg curriculum, benchmarked for grades four and five but easily adjusted to meet the needs of other grades, is designed and distributed by the Oregon State University Extension Service.

The first-grade teachers have been able to teach their students all about embryology, the science of the growth and development of an embryo to a chick inside an egg. Clatsop County 4-H Extension staff members Justin Williams and Sandra Carlson supplied the teachers with an incubation kit which allowed the youth to observe chicks hatching. Mahoney's first graders can now explain what "oviporous" means. Tyler Duke's response was "animals that lay eggs." Mahoney mentioned that before the program, most students did not know that the eggs they buy at the store are the same eggs that are being incubated and hatched in their own classroom.

Mahoney students Madie Jensen and Daniel Garrido were able to give Williams an overview of what they learned about embryology during the last three weeks. Both students explained that chickens hatch in 21 days, could name parts of the egg, and now could say they have seen a chick hatch from an egg - a first for every student in this class.

Mahoney had positive comments for the program. "It's really easy and it was all laid out. Sandra Carlson came and explained it and when she left, we felt like we knew what we were doing. Now that we have done it once, it will be really easy next time!"

The 4-H Incredible Egg curriculum can be an exciting tool to use in any classroom, according to Williams. If you would like your child's teacher to use the curriculum or are a teacher and want to know more about using the incubators, contact Oregon State University Extension Service - Clatsop County at 325-8573.