Experiential Learning Project final

Experiential Learning Project
By Maggie Keeble
My first introduction will not work for my final product as I changed what I was doing.
At first I was going to interview my boyfriend and find an information need from him that I
could research. However I misunderstood the requirements for this assignment when I wrote that
proposal. Luckily I had a young girl come in not long after the proposal was submitted and I got
her permission to use her in my study. Her name is Caroline, she is a junior at Davie High
School who needed help with her midterm research paper on the evolution of a unique feature a
certain set of species has that others do not. She chose to focus on birds as she enjoys watching
them feed at her house. After several meetings we narrowed down the topic to a research
question: “How did the bird wing come to be and how do they work?”
February 18th:
I was at work putting together stuff for my computer course when I had a young girl
directed to my desk for help with research. She introduced herself as Caroline and asked if I
could help her with a research paper due in a few weeks for her high school Biology class. She
wanted to write about birds as she loves birds. I asked the following questions and got these
Me: What would you like to write about concerning birds?
Caroline: Well, I was thinking maybe looking at how they fly.
Me: Okay. Have you been studying birds in class?
Caroline: No, but we have been looking at the different limbs of animals. We looked at
chicken wings, frog legs, human arms, horse legs, things like that.
Me: Oh so you have to do a comparative of different limbs? Or is this to teach others
about these limbs?
Caroline: We have to write a research paper about a special part of an animal and how it
came to be, and I really like birds so I thought “hey, let’s do the wing!”
Me: Ah, gotcha. So bird wings. You need the anatomy, the function, maybe even the
history or evolution of the wing?
Caroline: Yeah!
Once I got a general list of what was needed for the assignment I took down Caroline’s
cell number and told her I would work on finding some resources as soon as I could. I figured
once I got some basic resources we could go over them together and discuss what was found,
then look for some more resources together so I could show her how to go about researching on
her own. Remembering this assignment I asked her permission to use this as part of my project
for my graduate work, and she accepted.
February 20th:
I began my work on creating a resource page for Caroline’s research paper. I started out
looking at articles within my own library, pulling books and printing sheets for her with different
resources she may need. It dawned on me that I did not even ask what sort of sources she would
need or how many, so I called her phone and requested that she come in at her convenience to
discuss resources. In the mean time I pulled a little bit of everything, some books, encyclopedias,
and research articles from Google Scholar. I started my search with keywords “Bird Wing
Anatomy” and got no results, so I changed it to keyword “Anatomy Bird” where I found one
book: A children’s non-fiction book from 1982 called A Bird’s Body. Even though this resource
may not be the best for a high school research paper it may have some useful information and
key terms to search for more resources. I looked then under keyword “Bird wing” and got nine
results. Most of the results were either children’s non-fiction books or children’s fiction books.
So then I tried the subject search “Bird” and got 250 results. I narrowed my results by selecting
non-fiction books only and under the topic subject Birds. I got 67 results, of which I pulled three
books from the adult section and one from the children’s section. The three adult non-fiction
books are Birds in Flight, The World of Birds, and The Wonder of Birds. The juvenile non-fiction
book I pulled is an Eyewitness Book called Bird.
I got up and walked to the adult reference section and pulled off two encyclopedias, The
Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. I tagged the pages
that had the article about birds and recorded their information for the bibliography. I also pulled
the three adult books and one juvenile book to keep at my desk until Caroline came in to see
February 25th:
Caroline came in afterschool to discuss the resources I had found as well as the details
about the resources. She remembered her assignment sheet this time so I could get a better feel
for what type of paper the teacher was looking for. We read over the page, and it seemed the
teacher was looking for a well thought-out research paper focusing on the evolution of a
specialized body part that is unique to a particular group of creatures. The deadline for the paper
was March 7th, so I had until Friday to get all the resources together, giving her ample time to
write her paper. The paper requested eight resources, at least two print sources, and at least five
journal articles. I knew that our public library did not have a lot of access to articles, and Google
scholar gives limited access. We looked over the resources I had pulled the previous week and
made copies of the articles in the encyclopedias. After examining A Bird’s Body we decided it
was not a good resource and reshelved it.
I pulled up the Catawba College catalogue to look for more resources and showed
Caroline how to look for the resources so if she needed to find resources in the future she could.
The Catawba College Library will obtain resources from journals upon request, even from
community borrowers. But being an Alumnus who worked 4 years at that library always helps
because I know my way around and I can retrieve the resources over the week. I told her I would
go down on my day off to retrieve the items and look for more resources.
We examined a couple of articles before she had to go home, using the keyword search
“Bird Wing Evolution” and keyword search “Bird Wing Anatomy” in Academic Search Premier
and I marked down 4 to print out from that library to include in the resources to include in her
resource packet. After she left I conducted some more searches and found an additional 10
sources to include, 4 books and 6 articles. I made a note to also check their reference section for
other tertiary sources that would be beneficial for her paper.
February 26th:
I spent 3 hours at the Corriher-Linn-Black library at Catawba College as I dug for more
resources for Caroline. I got all 10 articles printed up and made copies of the articles in the
encyclopedia of evolution as well as the text book for the Ornithology class. I also fixed a
jammed printer while I was there. I found most of the books I had written down, but one was
checked out by the time I got there. I called Caroline and told her that all her resources would be
ready for her to pick-up on Friday afternoon. She said she would be in Saturday morning to get
them as she had other plans for Friday already. This would give me plenty of time to read each
resource and write a decent bibliography about each one. Then she could choose which ones to
use when she wrote her paper. Caroline reminded me that the formatting of the citations was to
be in MLA so I made a note to change the citations I already had in APA to MLA version.
February 27th:
I worked on the bibliography for Caroline, making sure that I was putting everything in
MLA format instead of my usual APA format. After completing the bibliography I printed it up,
put all the printed articles within a pocket folder for her to pick up on Saturday. I was not sure
what time she was coming in to get it so I set it on the back counter at my desk and texted her the
location where she could find it. I also left a note telling her if she needed help with reviewing
her paper before she submitted it to let me know.
When Caroline got her paper back she passed along the grade to me: 97/100 points! She
thanked me lots for all the help and I thanked her for the help with my assignment as well. I
passed along a survey for her to fill out and return whenever she could before school let out, just
asking how helpful the information was, did she get everything in a timely manner, and if she
would recommend others to come ask for help with research. I still haven’t gotten the survey
back. I enjoyed the experience even though it was hard work. The only thing I wish was that
there was more time to put into looking for resources for her paper.
Balmford, Andrew, Jones, Ian L., and Adrian L. R. Thomas. "On Avian Asymmetry: Evidence
of Natural Selection for Symmetrical Tails and Wings In Birds." Proceedings of The
Royal Society Biological Sciences (1993): 245-251. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
An article by Andrew Balmford and his team that focuses on the fossil record of extinct
primitive bird species and how natural selection chose for symmetrical tails and wings to
prevail over asymmetrical tails and wings.
Beaufrere, Hugues. "A Review of Biomechanic and Aerodynamic Considerations of the Avian
Thoracic Limb." Journal of Avian Medicine & Surgery (2009): 173-185. Web. 26 Feb
This article looks at the wings of both primitive and present day birds and how the wing
has evolved both mechanically and aerodynamically. The article has some great
information about wing structures and how their composition and function have changed
over time.
Burnie, David. Bird. New York: Eyewitness Books, 1988. Print.
Despite being classified as a Juvenile Non-Fiction book Eyewitness Books packs the
pages with diagrams and facts relevant to the topic. This book has the origin of feathers
and talks about how birds have evolved and what structures can be found in the wing.
Cavendish, Marshall. "Birds." Encyclopedia of Life Sciences 1st ed. 1996: 177-182. Print.
From the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences comes an article all about birds. There are some
great classification charts in here for birds along with a history of evolution and anatomy
of the bird.
Ellis, Malcolm. The World of Birds. Verona: Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1971. Print.
While also being a great photography book for birds The World of Birds has a lot of
information about the evolution of birds as well as the anatomy and physiology of their
body parts. Has some great diagrams and trees showing the relation of each bird family to
one another.
Henderson, Carrol L. Birds in Flight. Minneapolis: Voyageur Press, 2008. Print.
This resource focuses more on the act of flight and how wings have evolved over the
centuries to be more efficient with air currents and take-offs. There are some neat facts in
here about the theories of how dinosaurs began to fly as well.
Kurochkin, E.N. and I. A. Bogdanovich. "On The Origin Of Avian Flight: Compromise And
System Approaches." Biology Bulletin (2008): 1-11. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
In this Biology Bulletin Kurochkin and Bogdanovich discuss how flight came to be. They
focus on pterosaurs that lived during the time of the dinosaurs and compare it to the
dinosaurs that eventually evolved into the birds of today.
National Geographic Society. The Wonder of Birds. Washington D.C.: National Geographic
Society, 1983. Print.
A great resource that focuses on the beauty and grace of what is birds. There is all sorts
of information about the evolution, physiology, and families of different birds, as well as
the look at different wing types in birds as not all are the same.
Nudds, Robert L. and Gareth J. Dyke "Forelimb Posture In Dinosaurs And The Evolution Of The
Avian Flapping Flight-Stroke." Evolution (2009): 994-1002. Web. 26 Feb. 2014
This article by Nudds and Dyke looks at the fossil record of how the front limbs of
dinosaurs and how their structure leads scientists to believe that they adapted to be able to
flap their wings when getting off the ground. This supports the theory of the running to
flying instead of the climbing and jumping out of trees for how flight came to be.
Padian, Kevin and Luis Chiappe. "The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds." Biological Reviews
(2007): 1-42. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
Focusing more on the early evolution of birds this article has some great discussion about
the different theories about how dinosaurs learned to fly and evolved to do it. It also
discusses different dinosaurs which were believed to have evolved into birds
Pendick, Daniel. "Dinos On The Wing." Earth (1997): 12. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
From the fossil record comes evidence of dinosaurs learning to fly. This article by
Pendick discusses Pterosaurs who ruled the skies during the age of the dinosaurs, as well
as how flightless dinosaurs evolved to take to the air for survival.
Provice, Robert R. "Wing-Flapping During Development And Evolution." American Scientist
(1984): 448-455. Web. 20 Feb. 2014.
This article looks at the theory of running flight where wing flapping was necessary to
get off the ground. This theory has some basis in fossils as you can see that the forelimbs
of these feathered dinosaurs and of the bird ancestors adapted for the thrusting motion
needed to get airborn.
Reinhold, Van Nostrand. "Birds." Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia 8th ed. 1995: 391-400.
In this encyclopedia is an article about birds. From the family evolution to the function of
their wings this article has a lot of basic information about birds and the thought of flight
Savile, D.B.O. "Adaptive Evolution in the Avian Wing." Evolution (1957): 212-224. Web. 26
Feb. 2014.
This article looks at the evolution of the wing evolution from the first ancestors of birds
to today's common birds. It also looks at the different types of wings found today with
flightless birds and gliding birds, as well as how they have evolved for different functions
such as swimming.
Shipman, Pat. Taking Wing: Archaeopteryx and the Evolution of Bird Flight. New York: Simon
& Schuster, 1998. Print.
This book looks at the evolution starting with one of the first ancestors of today's birds.
Archaeopteryx was one of the first fossilized birds found with feathers and perhaps
functional wings for short flights. The book also talks about other ancestors of today's
birds and how the fossil record shows how evolution has shaped our birds of today.
Videler, John J. Avian Flight. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
Avian Flight looks at how flight originated in dinosaurs and has changed over the
centuries. It discusses the different theories of how flight originated and how different
types of flight exist today with today's birds.
Xia, Wang, McGowan, Alistair J., and Gareth J. Dyke. "Avian Wing Proportions And Flight
Styles: First Step Towards Predicting The Flight Modes Of Mesozoic Birds." Plos ONE
(2011): 1-8. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
This article looks at how wing proportions have a function on flight styles. By looking at
gliding patterns in vultures and flapping with geese and ducks along with their wing sizes
scientists have created theories on how flight began with dinosaurs . Its possible that they
had large wings to generate the power needed to get off the ground until they evolved to
have hollow bones.