By Emily Murphy
Pagosa Peak Open School
“Bats?” murmured one audience member while listening to Pagosa Peak Open School’s (PPOS) presentation about pollination given to the Mountain High Garden Club.
She had just heard Kelle Bruno, PPOS’s first- and second-grade advisor, introduce the bat pollinator group.
“Pollen sticks to the hair of the bats,” first-grader Zeke announced to the group. He was one of the 20 students to present their learning about local pollinators at the CSU Extension office to garden club members and parents.
Students chose a pollinator to study and worked in groups to consolidate facts, photos and drawings into a presentation and poster.
“Part of our school’s project model includes students presenting to an authentic audience,” Bruno said. “It seemed there would be no better group than this for our pollination project.”
The Mountain High Garden Club engages in activities, events and tip sharing around growing plants at elevation. The audience was impressed by the class’s knowledge of a variety of pollinators in our area, including butterflies, flies, bees and — of course — bats.
Students also created a class book highlighting their knowledge on the subject. With a book, poster and oral presentation under their belts, these students have become experts in their school and community on an important part of plant life and sustainability.