At Kings: Grade A help for the bees

Students use design skills for pollinator garden.

A team of Kings High School students are hoping to help ease the plight of pollinators.

This school year the KHS Advanced Placement Digital Media Arts 2-D Design class participated in a pilot program, AP with WE Service, which combines academics and citizenship and challenges students to apply their classroom work to the real world to address social issues.

After studying environmental issues, the students narrowed their focus to the declining bee and other pollinator population.

“Some pollinators are becoming endangered, and we need to save them, because they play a vital role in our environment,” said senior Lauren Goslee. “I learned how important pollinators are, and that saving pollinators now will keep a natural process in tact and keep humans from having to spend millions on making machines or products to pollinate our plants.”

Students designed infographics for a booth display at the district-wide Knight of Innovation fair to to raise awareness about the pollination problem and inspire citizen action.

“Our booth contained information for participants and food for monarchs,” explained teacher Kelly Shields. “Using biodegradable clear balloons filled with floating, fluffy milkweed seeds, visitors to our booth were asked to take the balloons home and to pop the balloons in their neighborhoods to plant the milkweed, thus increasing habitat for the threatened species and, importantly, giving citizens a sense of ownership over the problem.”

Students also designed, produced and sold awareness buttons. With the proceeds, they installed a pollinator garden with perennial plants in the school’s courtyard and donated $100 to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

“We hope our efforts and contribution will help in pollinator conservation,” Shields said.

The project allowed students to use their digital design skills to raise awareness about a larger environmental issue.

“Supporting our world’s pollinators is very important to our earth, economy and survival; that is why this was such a good cause to support with a team. Because it was a relatable cause to all of us, we were all passionate and had a great time working together for the cause,” said student Bridget Davis. “Design has always been an interest of mine. … I had never used my skills to impact or support a cause. This service taught me how something I love doing can become something that makes a positive change in the world.”

“Through this experience, I learned that it is possible to contribute not only time and money, but also specific talents to help the natural world,” said classmate Jillian Krynock. “There is a lot that can be done with some creativity in the world. It can be used to spread information, catch someone’s eye, and make a change. What we did not only affected us in the class but spread to the community and even a national organization. The work we did will have a lasting impact.”

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