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Clinton High School students are not 'coop-ed' up during hands-on learning about chicken farming

Posted Date: 09/12/2022

CLINTON, Tenn. — For many students, classrooms are a metaphorical chicken coop. Kids spend between six and seven hours of their day in classrooms studying, learning and growing. 

But at Clinton High School, the teachers swapped out the worksheets and the notebooks for hands-on classes, like one that teaches chicken farming. 

"You don't have to sit in a classroom for an hour-and-a-half, doing a sheet of paper," said Kaelyn Bowling, a Clinton High School student. 

Clinton High School offers a class to teach students about biology, the reproductive system, and the life cycle by watching chickens hatch from eggs, and grow into birds that lay their own eggs.

"We raised these chickens from an egg," said Morgan Frye, a student at Clinton High School. "Now, they're old enough to lay their own eggs." 

The high school was just named a STEM school by the State of Tennessee, one of the largest to receive that designation in the state. 

Amy Haney, Clinton High School's STEM coordinator said she would like to reinforce subjects from class with hands-on learning. 

"How can we build that theory of those classes into applications that the students can do with hands-on projects?" Haney said. "Our students have a little bit of an upper hand on other students exiting high school and entering post-secondary education." 

The students learned about biology and troubleshooting. 

"The first round of eggs didn't totally work," Bowling said.  

But the students used an incubator the next time around and were able to hatch chickens successfully. 

Clinton High School has other hands-on classrooms, like a robotics lab, a computer science lab and digital media classes.