Citizen, Scholar, Steward

Endangered Species Project connects eighth graders with animal experts

During the Endangered Species Project (ESP), eighth graders conduct in-depth research on an endangered animal. As part of that research, students reach out to animal experts around the world in order to learn more about the most recent research about their animal. Students were required to research and find relevant contacts, write good “cold call” emails, and get back a reply from someone outside of KCD.  This process was a great way to introduce the students to authentic communication and research skills.
Many students received great replies, including Jillian Tabler, who is researching the pygmy possum. Jillian was excited to hear back from an expert, saying it made her take the ESP project more seriously. “It makes me feel professional. It’s really fun, and it makes it feel like a real project instead of just a school project,” she remarked. “It makes me want to know more about it because there are people out there spending their entire lives researching this one thing. It makes me realize how much there is to learn about, and it makes it a lot easier to get involved in the project.”

Paxton Kuhn, who is researching African penguins, enjoyed the challenge of digging deep in his research. “Emailing experts was fun because it was something that was real, not made up. The general research is challenging because you have to dig deep and find good facts.”
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Kentucky Country Day School is a private JK–12, coeducational school located on a spacious 85-acre campus in Louisville, KY. KCD combines a rigorous academic program with a wide variety of athletic and extracurricular programs. Our outstanding faculty creates an intimate learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.