Project Spotlight: Designed to Sell: Birdhouse Edition

November 21, 2016

Niles New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy-High School

Teachers: Courtney Dwyer & Matt Pagano

Course: BioArt-a team-taught class combining Biology and Art



Driving Question: How can we as scientists and designers, create an artificial habitat in the form of a birdhouse, which is both aesthetically pleasing and incorporates the specific environmental needs of the target species?

Project Snapshot

Learners collaborated to create birdhouses to fit the needs of a specific bird species. Designing blueprints and assembly took place in math and learners researched their bird species and decorated the birdhouses in BioArt. The birdhouses were donated to the botanical garden and nature preserve in the community. They are on display at an art exhibit where visitors can purchase the birdhouses. All funds raised will go back to the nature center to help them continue to provide quality instruction to visitors.

Student Products

  • Birdhouses
  • Bird Flyer
  • Artist Statement

Teacher Reflection

This project was a great success! It was amazing to collaborate with another studio and create a project that involves 3 different content areas. Having a place for learners to cut their own wood for the birdhouses within our school would be beneficial, as we had to rely on an outside source to cut the wood pieces.

Student Reflection

Our business partner, Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve was vital to our project. We communicated frequently throughout the project and they were always willing to help in any way. The next time, it would be helpful to have a partner to that could instruct learners on how to properly cut the wood pieces for their birdhouses.

Community Reflection

On our field trip to the nature center, learners would have liked to gain a deeper understanding of their bird species, instead of learning about multiple organisms present in the habitats. Students really enjoyed this hands on project that helped them to support their local community.

Check out a student sample flyer here

Sample Assessment 



Projects Spotlights allow a glimpse into the great projects that are taking place in New Tech schools across the country. To learn more about Project-Based Learning or the New Tech Network, please contact us here.

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