Sheli Gossett

Cracker Trail Elementary
Sebring, FL

Project Description:

“Window to the World of Science/Birdwatch and Outdoor Classroom” is Gossett’s winning program. It will give students a chance to observe wildlife in a natural setting and aid in the conservation of native bird species. According to Gossett, watching and caring for birds and plants develops an understanding and need to protect and restore the natural world. It will provide a sanctuary and feeding station for birds on the school grounds for students to achieve hands-on experience in observations, inquiry-based investigations and data collection. Students will also be responsible for changing the water in the birdbath and filling the feeders. Because of Gossett’s program, students at Cracker Trail Elementary will also be able to participate in a Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientific study called “Project Feeder Watch.” Students will gather, record and journal data about species of birds observed from the classroom window and report their findings weekly to the lab in Ithaca, NY, via the computer. While integrating language arts, math, technology and social study standards, teachers will encourage students to seek answers to questions utilizing references like experts, books and the Internet to answer questions. Gossett, who lives in Zolfo Springs, wants to capitalize on the children’s natural sense of wonder and provide them with valuable, hands-on, real-world experiences.