Murdock Elementary fourth-graders making a difference for bees has had some positive results: Kids helping honeybees learn lessons across the curriculum.
Honeybees are disappearing around the world, and a fourth grade class started a school year long project to help the honeybees and find out more about them, said teacher Jackie Bold.
Bold’s class of 27 students read the August 13 cover story in Time Magazine, “The Plight of the Honeybees”. The group of children at Murdock Elementary School in Marietta decided to do something about the disappearance of the bees.
“The students were moved by the importance of the honeybee to pollination of crops worldwide, and the students were puzzled by their dwindling population,” Bold said.
According to the Time article, one-third of the human diet relies on some degree of bee pollination such as almonds, which are 100 percent dependent on bees for pollination.
Under Bold’s supervision, the students studied the issue and researched possible solutions, she said. Taking advantage of the students’ passion on the issue, Bold incorporated bees and pollination into her curriculum when appropriate. For example, bees became part of math equations.
“The students’ desire to help the honeybees provided inspiration for them to learn across the board,” Bold said.
After the students read the article, they really wanted to do something, room parent Yvonne Matherne said. “The project was driven by the kids, and Gerry Kiernan stepped up to spearhead the project as the parent volunteer coordinator.”
Kiernan was so inspired by the students and by the project, he is taking steps to become a beekeeper, Matherne said, adding he has already been through some training.
Honey tasting became a recurring event for the class, Bold said, because, with Kiernan’s help, the students brought in honey samples from near and far, including Marietta, Arizona and Vermont.