Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are unique fishing raptors, native to Montana’s waterways. As the top predator in the aquatic food chain, Ospreys are important indicators of ecosystem health, one of many reasons researchers at UM have spent more than 10 years conducting a ground-breaking study of their health and behavior. We have assembled a team of Osprey researchers, and other experts in STEM fields, and together developed a new, innovative program called Wings Over Water (WOW).
WOW brings STEM research into middle-school classrooms, and sparks student interest in biology, physics, chemistry, math, and aerospace engineering, through an in-depth case study of the Osprey. We start by building STEM capacity for teachers, with intensive training. We train teachers to be Osprey experts, during a multi-day, interactive, and field-based summer training institute at the University of Montana. We send teachers back to their classrooms with our unique and interactive STEM curriculum, which is aligned to standards and tailored to each teacher’s needs in the classroom. During the school year, WOW staff scientists lead field trips, where students participate in authentic science research. We connect classes with expert ecologists, physicists, and engineers, allowing students to build relationships with diverse mentors.
In the WOW program, we engage students and teachers in inspiring experiences with real-life science, as they interact first-hand with their local Ospreys. In doing so, we help foster student’s life-long interest in STEM fields, and motivate them to pursue careers in STEM.
See more details on the program HERE.