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Teaching Resources

Forensic Science of Bird Strikes

STEM Subject

Forensic Science of Bird Strikes 

National Middle School Science Standards

Earth Science, Life Science, Engineering 

Key Terms:

ornithology, forensic science, bird ecology, feather identification, DNA barcoding, airplane strike, snarge 

Key Concepts:

  • Analysis of bird feathers and snarge 
  • Identifying bird and other animal remains 
  • Value of reference collections in museums
  • Impacts of human activities on ecology 
  • Technology used by forensic ornithologists

Resource Types:

Associated Experts

Feathers from an airplane bird strike are compared to museum bird specimens to figure out what species collided with the plane. Photo by Carla Dove, Smithsonian. Feathers from an airplane bird strike are compared to museum bird specimens to figure out what species collided with the plane. Photo by Carla Dove, Smithsonian.
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RESOURCES ABOUT THE FORENSIC SCIENCE OF BIRD STRIKES

Resource is aligned with the Bird Strike Whodunit? School Field Trip Program. Learn more about all of our School Field Trip Programs here.

Forensic Ornithology Lesson Carla Dove

All About Feathers Cornell University Lab of Ornithology 

Middle School Level

 

High School Level 

Fighting the Perils of Bird- Plane Collisions Smithsonian Magazine

 

Gifted Readers

From DNA to Genomics Q?rius Topic Page

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NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)

The Forensic Science of Bird Strikes teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations.

Earth Science

MS-ESS3

Earth and Human Activity
  • MS-ESS3-3Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • MS-ESS3-5Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Life Science

MS-LS2

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-LS2-2Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • MS-LS2-5Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Engineering

MS-ETS1

Engineering Design
  • MS-ETS1-1Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • MS-ETS1-2Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • MS-ETS1-3Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

MS-ESS3, MS-LS2, MS-ETS-1

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ASSOCIATED EXPERTS

Ornithologist Dr. Carla Dove sitting and analyzing feathers under a microscope. Shelves and storage drawers are behind her.
Carla Dove
Ornithologist and Director of the Feather Identification Lab
Tags: genome

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