This past week we had the opportunity to inform high school students that are in the RISE program about bird migration, conservation, and ways to identity birds when out in the field. We presented to two different high schools, North Salinas high school and Marina high school. The event consisted of a 20 minute presentation, 15 minute activity, 10 minute discussion, and 10 minute reflection. The activity used is called “The Great Migration Challenge” and it only requires one dice, one migration map to have the students track their migration, and something to mark their spot as they go through the game.
We first presented to North Salinas high school where all of the attendees were Latinos. We arrived one hour early to set up and to get to know the students while they were doing their homework. Before presenting I had the opportunity to go around the room and talk to some of the students. I came across two seniors and we started talking about their experience with RISE and what they were planning on doing after high school. I was really glad to hear that they had applied to many different universities throughout California and that they had been accepted to most of them. What also grabbed my attention was that even though they had been accepted to many Universities they were thinking on staying close to home. One of them was thinking on going to community college and then transferring, and the other was going to attend CSU Monterey Bay and commute from home. After their homework time was up I started my presentation. I was nervous at first and excited at the same time. Throughout the presentation I was asking questions and only a few of the students where responding. Throughout the game I notices that the students were not that into the game and were not that excited about what the game board asked them to do. When I got the surveys back most of the students rated the presentation good and said that the activity was fun. Then I realize that it was maybe something new to them and did not know how to react or could have been embarrass to perform in front of their friends. I also asked them about what were some natural and human causes that affect migration and they all responded correctly.
Marina high school on the other hand was a mixed group, but the majority were Latinos. This class did respond to the questions that were being asked throughout the presentation and also had questions at the end of the presentation. During the activity I noticed that every group was moving around doing what the game board suggested to do. Every group had their own interpretation of what the game said to do and it made it really fun to watch. As I walked around to the different groups, I noticed that everyone was interacting with their group and was having a blast laughing at the different interpretation. Overall, this group was more relaxed and more willing try new things. I had one girl that mentioned that before playing the activity she wanted to be a bird, but after playing it and noticing all the hardships that birds go through she changed her mind. Also, all the surveys that we got back showed that everyone enjoyed the presentation and loved the activity. After presenting to both of the schools I felt much better and gave me courage to look forward to doing more presentation with different age groups.