Embryology & EGG Cam 4-H School Enrichment

Embryology is the study of embryos and their development. Lancaster County 4-H coordinates the popular Embryology 4-H school enrichment program locally, delivering supplies, teaching in the classrooms and distributing chicks to area farmers. We also host 4-H EGG Cam, which allows you and other viewers around the world to witness the amazing process of chicks hatching!

Lancaster County third graders have benefited from Embryology in their classrooms since 1975. Students learn about embryonic development and the life cycle during the 21-day incubation process of chicken eggs. They care for the eggs, witness the hatching process and then care for the baby chicks for 2–3 days. What started out in three classrooms at one school has blossomed into every third grade classroom in the Lincoln Public School system as well as Waverly, Malcolm, Norris, many parochial schools and several homeschools. Thank you to Hy-Line International for helping support our embryology program and to members of the Lincoln Northeast Kiwanis Club who drive to Iowa three times a year to get the eggs!

For more information about Embryology, contact Extension Assistant Calvin DeVries at calvin.devries@unl.edu or 402-441-7180.

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Watch 4-H EGG Cam Live!

You can watch chicks hatch on 4-H EGG Cam from January through early fall.

Watch 4-H EGG Cam

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Embryology Resources

Extension Embryology Websites
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At-Home Activities

  • Lancaster County 4-H video, Embryology Initial Classroom Presentation (presentation given in local classrooms explaining Embryology and how students help care for eggs in an incubator). Two ways to watch: YouTube | UNL Media Hub
  • Lancaster County 4-H video: Embryology Day 7 Candling Classroom Presentation (presentation given in local classrooms explaining "candling" to check the development of embryos). Two ways to watch: YouTube | UNL Media Hub
  • Lancaster County 4-H video: Chick Hatching (seen on 4-H EGG Cam) (Watch a baby chick hatch! This video is sped up 1,500 times. Original time was 56 minutes.) Two ways to watch: YouTube | UNL Media Hub
  • Lancaster County 4-H handout (PDF): Embryology At-Home Activities (includes: Egg Part Identification, Grocery Store Egg Candling, Draw an Embryo Development Timeline and The Floating Egg)
  • Nebraska 4-H videos and worksheets: Embryology 101 Lessons (four lessons allowing youth to explore the life cycle of an embryo and how life develops)
  • University of Illinois Extension worksheets: Activities (includes: Parts of a Chicken, Egg Grading, Science Vocabulary and more)
  • The American Egg Board activity pages and videos: Egg Experiments (includes: How to Fold an Egg, Strong As an Egg, Egg Geodes, Shrinking and Growing Eggs, and more)
  • American Egg Board: "Egg Reader" digital interactive piece (read about Types of Eggs, "Eggsploring" Food Safety, From the Farm to Your Store, and more)
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Lancaster County Teacher-Specific Resources

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Other Resources

Thank you for letting us see how chicks grow up. My favorite part was when we could hold the chicks.

Lincoln Public Schools student participating in the 4-H Embryology program
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Lancaster County 4-H Embryology & EGG Cam Videos