Project provides alternative learning opportunities for students
By GRAYSON LEE MAXWELL
Stewart’s Creek Middle will soon have an apiary, thanks to Kevin Welch who teaches STEM at the school.
If you aren’t familiar, an apiary is a place where honeybees are maintained to harvest honey.
The School Board recently approved the project, which will also include a wildflower garden. The space will function as an alternative learning opportunity for students.
According to the proposal, “The Stewarts Creek Wildflower Garden and Apiary is the result of a $5,000 TVA Mini Grant,” and “is planned to be an alternative learning environment that can be utilized cross circularly across all grade levels.”
While some may have concerns about the placement of the apiary, the location will be non-centralized so that teachers are able to conveniently access it, but students will not travel near it unsupervised.
According to Welch:
“The apiary will be located in an alcove between the 7th grade and elective halls. This will give it the advantage of being easily accessible for educational use while still being out of the way of unsupervised students. Additional safety considerations such as a fence around the garden and signage will help ensure no one accidentally disturbs the hives. Also, the hive entrance will be situated and obstructed in a way that will encourage bees coming and going to fly upward from the hives rather than straight out. Finally, the bee residents are Italian honeybees that have been bred for their calm temperament”
The proposal also lists the following benefits for adding the Apiary and wildflower garden:
· Teaching students about math, physics, biodiversity, environmental sciences, agriculture, system dynamics, etc.
· Engaging students in an interactive way
· Learning about food supply
· Contributing to a positive school environment
· Helping improve the local bee population