Hawk Mountain Curricula

Hawk Mountain educators have developed several curricula to be used in a variety of learning environments for varying grade levels. 

Hawk Mountain has developed 2 curricula thanks to the support from the Wild Resource Conservation program. The broad-winged hawk and black vulture curricula connect educators with the monitoring research for the Sanctuary's scientists, and incorporate technology in the classroom. 

Additionally, Hawk Mountain developed a curriculum around the American kestrel, using clips from several years of live nest box webcam footage. 

Black vulture extending wings to dry while perched on a boulder

Movement Ecology of a Non-Migratory Raptor: the Black Vulture

This curriculum is designed for middle level students and explores the movement patterns of the non-migratory back vulture using Google Earth and “R” visualization software. These birds were tagged by Sanctuary scientists and are being tracked by satellite telemetry.

This interdisciplinary curriculum allows students to make data-based inferences about the black vulture’s life history, learn to use Google Earth Pro, and discuss conservation and human perception of scavengers through a variety of mediums. The curriculum is aligned with PDE and NGS standards and promotes STEM in the classroom.

Download the Student Materials

Download the Google Earth Animations

Immature broad-winged hawk in flight.

An Ecological Profile of the Broad-winged Hawk

This curriculum is designed for high school students and explores the movement patterns of the broad-winged hawk, a species that engages in long-distance migration to and from wintering grounds in the tropical biomes of Central and South America.

This curriculum is an interdisciplinary study which connects overarching concepts of ecology with geography, mathematics, reading and writing in science, and has cross cutting ties to social studies. Through the exploration of real data collected by Hawk Mountain Sanctuary researchers, students will participate in activities intended to promote critical thinking, inspire active learning, and facilitate engagement in relevant scientific topics. Teachers will address topics outlined in Pennsylvania State Science Standards and National Science Standards.

Download the Curriculum Materials

Download Abbo's Tracker      Download Sadie's Tracker

American Kestrel perched on a tree branch

American Kestrel Webcam Curriculum

The curriculum is designed for elementary and middle school grade levels with a focus on kestrel nesting ecology and interactive technology, using clips from Hawk Mountain's live American kestrel webcam. 

The footage is collected from a 24/7 live stream via a camera mounted within a local American Kestrel nest box installed by the Sanctuary. The American Kestrel Nest Box Program is part of Hawk Mountain's long-term study of kestrel reproductive ecology. The Kestrel Cam streams from a nest box on a private farm local to the Acopian Center for Conservation Learning, and it runs from about mid-March to the end of June, dependent on the nesting pair and their chicks. 

Download the Curriculum Materials