This blog post was written and documented by grade 6 students.
Introduction: For our final STEM project in science class, we decided to turn our focus on a very important creature that humans overlook far too much. The Bat. Bats pollinate and save American farmers billions of dollars a year in pest control costs by devouring insects. According to some estimates, such a service is valued from around 3.7 billion dollars to as much as 53 billion dollars per year. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. All things we used for that project.
Did you know that in the last 20 years, the world has lost 6.5 million bats? The bat population around the world has been decreasing rapidly so in our science class, we found a way to aid scientists in saving the bats. We are creating a hanging box where bats can get away from predators and stay safe in harsh weather conditions. We call it the “ Bat Box Project”. We use the Design Thinking process when we are building because it helps us on track.
Empathize: The empathize portion of Design Thinking is understanding the question. Many people think that bats are gross or weird, but they help our ecosystem. When someone says “Don’t go near the bat! It will give you rabies”. Bats can give you rabies but it only happens to 2% of people. Bats are actually very helpful to our world. In one night, a single bat can consume up to 3,000 insects! If bats went extinct, the number of bugs would increase by 45%. How can we solve this problem?
Define: An extensive study gives new light on the potential mechanisms causing population decreases in bats as reported internationally for the previous 200 years. There are around 1,300 species of bats on Earth including the 18 we have here in Canada, and many of them are already regarded as endangered or declining. Many stresses that bats experience will often cause their death. For example, white-nose syndrome, which is brought on by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. White-nose syndrome is to blame for a 94% decline in populations of little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) and northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis) in Canada’s eastern provinces. In Canada, another major occurrence of death for bats is wind turbine collisions that are estimated to kill 47,400 bats annually in Canada.
Ideate: If you’re looking to do your part and help bats there are many ways to get involved!
- Learn about bats and spread the word.
- Help preserve the nature around you.
- Turn off any of the unnecessary lights that are on.
- Supply bats with extra shelter by creating a bat box (what our project is all about).
- Try not to disturb any bats
- Be humane when it comes to removing them if needed.
For more information look “here”
Prototype: The Grade Six students started the project by looking online for all the materials and finding the cost of all the materials needed to build a single bat box. Wood, Mesh, Plywood, caulk, wood finish, and insolation allows the bats to be safe from predators, and rough weather, and able to hang from the ceiling. After the price was calculated, Mr. Ray bought the materials needed and we started building the bat box.
Thank you for reading!
-The Grade 6 Class