Everybody loves hummingbirds, and these tiny feathered dynamos can be used to help students learn about science, math, geography, culture, and virtually any academic discipline. “Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project” is a cross-disciplinary project in which K-12 students, teachers, and others in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America collaborate to study behavior and distribution of the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). Teachers are invited to participate in this web-based project, operated by Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History near York, S.C. The site may be the most comprehensive one available about hummingbird natural history, and this unique project uses the ruby-throated hummingbird as a focal point for integrated studies of meteorology, environmental science, animal behavior, botany, and the physical sciences—as well as math, language arts, geography, and other disciplines—all aided by modern telecommunications and computer technology. The ruby-throated hummingbird is an easily observed indicator of the health of the environment in the Western Hemisphere. By monitoring hummingbirds and learning more about factors that affect them, students develop an understanding of natural systems and how human activity can affect individual species and habitats. Data collected and logged into school-based computers during Operation RubyThroat will be exchanged freely among participants via the internet, and data will be made available to professional scientists, whose input and guidance will be sought during all project phases.

http://www.rubythroat.org