Tech Ed Students Build Bat Boxes
Mr. Neumann and the 7B2s present the Lancaster Conservancy's Director of Stewardship, Mr. Brandon Tennis, with bat houses.
Seventh graders come to technology education class to learn how to use basic hand tools. This year, students developed those skills along with an unexpected bonus – a new understanding and appreciation of bats. Classes partnered with the Lancaster Conservancy to build bat boxes that will be placed in Lancaster County parks. Their work may help local bats, whose numbers are in decline nationwide, to find homes.
“Students had a lot of misconceptions about bats,” explained Mr. Ken Neumann, Martin Meylin Middle School technology education teacher. “They thought bats lived on blood and didn’t know about how helpful bats are for the ecosystem. Through research, we learned that bats serve as pollinators and insect control specialists.” Bats have been known to eat up to their body weight in insects, including mosquitos, every night.
After learning about bats, students used their growing knowledge of hand tools to build ten vertical bat boxes. The boxes are painted black to retain heat and are scored so that bats can hang anywhere inside. The Lancaster Conservancy plans to work with local Boy Scout troops to install and monitor the boxes, making this a ‘kids helping kids’ project.
Bat boxes are not the first collaboration between Martin Meylin’s technology education department and the Lancaster Conservancy. Past classes have built and donated benches, some with wood harvested from conservancy property. Lampeter-Strasburg students’ work will be found at parks throughout the county for years to come.
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