Last week, Ben Porat Yosef students from grades Pre-K through fifth grade got busy buzzing to various workshops to learn all about bees as part of the school’s Discovery Learning Day program. Discovery Learning is an innovative, interdisciplinary STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program created by BPY’s math and science specialists, designed to reinforce science and math concepts in interesting ways, and encourage curiosity and questioning while fostering within the students a deep appreciation of the value of science and math in their lives.
As part of the day of studying bees, students participated in workshops throughout the day on topics such as anatomy, pollination, foraging, technology influenced by bees, honey production, the geometry and function of hives, colony collapse disorder, bees in Judaism, and more. Students developed a “KWL Chart,” which they began the day before, to list “what they know about bees,” “what they want to know,” and completed the chart with the column of “what they learned” as a result of their day of workshops.
Three beekeepers, Danny Senter, Richard Schluger, and Cliff Sunflower were on hand to show the students hive activity, instruments used in working with bees, and to answer many of their “Want to know” questions. In addition, the students learned how vital bees are to sustaining much of our agriculture and, as a result of their day of study, are planning to write letters to government officials to advocate preserving land for bees, regulating pesticide use, and planting more bee attracting flowers in order to sustain the bee population.
By Ruth Roth