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Students become wildlife researchers by studying the diversity and abundance of pollinators in the schoolyard. The data then forms the basis of an awareness project where the class creates "Help Wanted" posters that highlight the crucial role of insects like bumblebees in producing the foods that humans eat every day.
This activity supports science units that focus on the sustainability of ecosystems and biodiversity. The outdoor learning could be expanded by having students investigate flower structures to discover adaptations which facilitate the pollination process.
Student data on the presence or absence of pollinators in an outdoor area can also become the basis of a school habitat conservation plan. A proposal to create a mow free zone where wildflowers can flourish could be presented to school officials. A class could even design and plant a demonstration garden that features plants which benefit pollinators and humans.
This outdoor lesson could also launch a school wide citizen science project where students spend time in local green spaces collecting information for an organization like Bumblebee Watch.
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