HELENA — Students from Helena’s Peak Gifted & Talented program displayed their artwork and shared their knowledge of animals throughout the ages at the Montana Historical Society (MHS).
The megafauna included in many of the projects reflects the large creatures included in the MHS Ice Age gallery. It notes Marianne Baumeister, an instructor with the program. The students looked at the animal species as they are displayed now, then compared them with earlier iterations to see how they adapted over time. Next, they predicted what the future might hold for each species.
“They researched five areas – natural history, diet, habitat range, reproductive care of the young, and migration,” said Baumeister. “Then they applied that knowledge for the future.”
The students also put together oral presentations that were available by scanning a QR code with a cell phone.
In a press release, students’ projects rotated on display at MHS. Third, fourth, and fifth grade students’ work was featured, then they were replaced with the work of eighth, ninth, and tenth graders. The sixth and seventh grades’ projects are on display at ExplorationWorks but only for family members.
“We enjoy being a gathering place for the community, and to get students in our building to explore history,” said Molly Kruckenberg, MHS Director.
Jackson Reed (pictured above), a third grader at Jefferson Elementary, worked on the current state of bald eagles. The 9-year-old said he’s a big fan of birds, so the project was a lot of fun.
“I did my best to make the eagle look like it’s swooping and catching fish from the stream,” Reed said. “I think in the future the world will be hotter, so they’ll probably change migration patterns and stay higher in the mountains.”
Recording his presentation for use with the QR code was easy, he added, but also a little frustrating.
“I have done it millions of times before, but it was really hard this time because we had to make it sound perfect. Otherwise nobody would hear it or know what I wanted to say,” Reed said.