Students will study the Alcoa eagles this winter

January  04, 2013

As eagle parents in the Quad Cities prepare their nest, students in Bettendorf, Geneva, Illinois, North Carolina, and the Netherlands are getting ready to study them. Last year, the Alcoa Foundation gave the Bettendorf School District a grant to create the new curriculum, called "Alcoa Eagle Cam: An Eagle Eye to the World."

The parents, Liberty and Justice, raise their eaglets near the Davenport Works in Riverdale, and the company's eaglecam has become extremely popular all over the world.

Bettendorf Middle School teacher, Aaron Mauer, worked with a team of teachers and interns to develop the curriculum. And he set up a web site to invite participation from teachers all over the world. Mauer says teams of one to two students from each of the four schools will work in teams to create a project about one aspect of eagles, such as flight patterns or habitat. Then the projects will be available online. 

Lesson plans include art, science, and writing.  But Mauer says the real goal is for the kids to learn 21st century communication skills and find ways to work through the internet with students in different time zones. 

The curriculum, "Alcoa Eagle Cam - An Eagle Eye to the World" is at eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com.

Besides the four participating classes, Mauer says ten other classes will observe, along with a number of experts who will answer questions and help guide the students.

By the way, the eagle-cam is online. It's mounted in the tree above the eagle's nest, about 80 feet above the ground.