If any bird sticks out from the crowd – or rather, the flock – it is Ohio’s state bird, the cardinal. Summit Academy Community School – Warren teacher Laurie Coy led the school’s students in a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) lesson geared to celebrate and examine the fancy red-feathered bird.

Students learned that male cardinals not only protect their territory but also search for food for female cardinals when they take care of their babies during nesting season. The youngsters also discovered that some scientists believe female cardinals signal when they are hungry by singing to their male counterparts. Plus, they found that cardinals are not shy when it comes to joining flocks of birds.

“As students learned facts about our state bird, they created the ‘Cardinal in the Winter’ pictures,” says Coy, explaining that the school’s entire student body made pictures depicting cardinals. Displayed in the school hallway, the artwork expresses the students’ artistic talents and use of materials to fashion their finished pieces.

“We are a school stressing STEAM. I wanted to make a winter theme [project] so the kids could just have fun with cutting, gluing, creating and painting,” says Coy, “while giving history and facts about our state bird and its characteristics.”