As part of the Philadelphia Zoo’s UNLESS Contest, 8th grade science students at Davis K-8 embarked on a Project Based Learning journey this spring. This annual contest has empowered thousands of students to get involved and make a positive change for conservation and wildlife. Teams of students embarked on the challenging problem of helping the endangered Monarch Butterfly from becoming extinct. The real-world context of the project took students through sustained interdisciplinary inquiry, allowed for student voice and choice, reflection, critique and revision, and several public products. Teams of researchers/proposal writers presented the student designed Pollinator Garden to their principals for approval. Grants were awarded from community partners for supplies to build. Students grew indigenous plants such as milkweed, purple coneflower, and perennial lupine in their classroom via hydroponics. Teams of student mentors/teachers connected with several grade levels throughout the school and read to and designed lessons teaching about the importance of monarch butterflies, their habitat, threats, and what we can do to help. The student building team took the design team’s plan and built Davis’s first Pollinator Garden. Students planted the native plants in their garden. All members of the Davis Community take Bearcat PRIDE and ownership in sustaining this incredible project.
Click here to view more photos of the Pollinator Garden.