Age Groups: 7-13
School: Harvey Primary School (WA)
Grant Sponsor: Woolworths
Harvey Public School, located about 150 kilometres southwest of Perth, obtained a Woolworths Junior Landcare Grant to implement a project aimed at increasing the number of pollinating insects in the school garden.
The project involved building bug homes to encourage insects to move into the garden as well as planting the garden with insect-attracting plants and many vegetables.
The creation of bug homes has increased the number of insects present in the school garden. The students took records of insect numbers before and after the project was complete. The data demonstrated an increase in insects that observation of insects moving into the insect homes help confirm.
Building the bug homes gave students a sense of ownership over the garden and was a springboard for learning about insects, plants and the connection between humans and their environment.
Students have developed understandings of the mental and physical health benefits of gardening. They have been able to articulate these in speeches given to their peers. They have demonstrated improved outcomes in biology and sustainability.
The children now understand life cycles of plants and insects, can give information on the correct planting and care of a variety of vegetables and understand the importance of flowering plants to the ecosystem.
The students’ favourite part of the project was using and demonstrating skills that are not always present in a classroom such as hammering, sawing and constructing. This project gave those students who do not necessarily excel academically, but who work well with their hands, a different area to succeed in which was wonderful to witness.
"We helped our school and the whole world by making more safe homes for bugs to live in. The bugs are our friends as they help pollinate our vegetables. It made us feel good and healthy to be outside in our garden," said 11- year olds Amelia and Jacob.