Education


Reed Students Complete ‘State Of The Meadow’ Projects

Published: June 24, 2019 at 07:00 am

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Reed Intermediate School sixth graders presented “State of the Meadow” projects on June 6 after working in partnership with the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary (CVHAS).

As other clusters and parents visited Drew Hall and Erika Michaels’s cluster, the sixth graders stood in front of displays they created for their projects.

“Do you guys know what the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary is?” sixth grader Francesca Glazer asked a group of students surrounding her project.

According to Mr Hall, his science students came up with topics to study after visiting the meadow at the CVHAS earlier in the school year. For the most part, students completed their projects in school, and some opted to work on the projects while at home. Students studied different creatures and plants for the projects. Around the cluster on June 6, projects on display showed moths, spiders, flowers, bees, ferns, earthworms, and crickets as some of the topics chosen.

Student Kelsey Brennan said she wanted to study bees, because, “I really like honey.”

Near Kelsey, student Addy Plummer had a tank with a garter snake on display. Addy said she wanted to study garter snakes because they are “really cool,” and she finds it impressive that the relatively small creatures manage to “do so much without as many resources as humans.” She scooped her hand into the tank as other students looked on, and the creature twirled around her fingers.

Just after students and parents entered the cluster to see the projects, CVHAS educator Henryk Teraszkiewicz welcomed everyone to the event. The cluster’s two rooms were filled with people mingling between projects as Mr Teraszkiewicz said, “They went so in depth with [studying] every single species they have here.”

Mr Teraszkiewicz explained the projects were presented ahead of the CVHAS’s fifth annual Catherine’s Butterfly Party, a family-focused festival and pet adoption event hosted by the animal sanctuary in memory of Catherine Violet Hubbard.

As people learned about the different projects, Mr Teraszkiewicz asked them to vote for their favorite projects. The top voted projects went on to be displayed at the June 8 Catherine’s Butterfly Party.

“Based on their work here, we will come up with a conservation plan,” Mr Teraszkiewicz explained, adding that the projects were “as hands on” as learning can be.

Following the event, Reed Science Coach Todd Stentiford explained the sixth grade projects were the school’s first-ever State of the Meadow projects. The students used an app called iNaturalist to log species identified at the CVHAS meadow. They cataloged native and invasive species and the “overall health of the ecosystem.”

“Seeing all of the projects in one place helps raise awareness about the sensitive balances in our ecosystems,” Mr Stentiford said in an e-mail. “The students have learned that although the meadow is serene and green, it has also become a place of extreme competition for territory and survival, where once native plants thrived, invasive [plants] are pushing them out, thus disturbing the local food chains.”

According to Mr Stentiford students will now “develop an actionable conservation strategy to be implemented for maintaining biodiversity in the sensitive habitat of the CVHAS.”

As Mr Teraszkiewicz said at the June 6 event, next school year, more students will conduct State of the Meadow projects.

To learn more about the CVHAS, see the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation’s website, cvhfoundation.org.

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