A new home for Russell the Crow

16 August 2018

A joint project between the City of Stirling, the Westminster Education Support Centre (WESC) and Edith Cowan University (ECU) has given a crow named Russell a new home.

Spotted hopping about the area, Russell regularly drops by the school to visit students. With Russell becoming a frequent school visitor, the WESC worked with ECU to develop a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics learning project (STEM) to create a birdhouse for the feathered local. Members of the City’s Men’s Shed have since crafted a nifty birdhouse for Russell based on students’ designs. 

Part of Westminster Primary School, the WESC provides individual learning programs for about 55 children with special needs. A group of 14 youngsters from Years 4 to 6 worked on the project by designing Russell’s new home and creating a 3-D cardboard box version of the birdhouse. Teacher Claire Deans said it was a wonderful project where all of the children could get involved and contribute, whatever their abilities.

Once the birdhouse got to the 3-D design stage, members of the Stirling Men’s Shed visited the school for an expo event where youngsters unveiled their designs. Men’s Shed member Colin Sutherland took photos of the cardboard birdhouse and set about creating a wooden version to take pride of place at the WESC.

It took about a week for Colin Sutherland to assemble the finished product at the Stirling Men’s Shed in Balcatta. Colin and Men's Shed Coordinator Alan Robson recently delivered the fully operational birdhouse to students at the centre.

“It’s a great project, as it connects our members with the broader community,” Alan Robson said. “Projects with schools keep the members involved in the community and gives the guys a sense of purpose.”

Edith Cowan University researcher Barbara Sherriff will now work with the school to evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘Every Bird Needs a Home’ STEM Learning Project Module.  

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