Fifth graders become ecologists for a day

Gallardo Elementary students in Ms. Prscilla Ortegon's class examine owl pellets.

The entire fifth grade class at Southside ISD did something that’s never happened before. All fifth graders at Gallardo Elementary, Pearce Elementary, Heritage Elementary, and Freedom Elementary became ecologists. Students prepared and then closely examined owl pellets. Owl pellets are regurgitated calls of bur and bones that an owl has digested. Students dissected the pellets and used evidence of its contents to make conclusions about the food web in the forest ecosystem where owls lives. “The owl pellets are sanitized and safe to handle,” said the District’s science coordinator Mr. Andrew Wirt. Students said they found the science project exciting after learning that owls eat rodents, other birds, and bugs.