What do the threat of Varroa mites on bees, the pros and cons of coal energy, and a bowl of rice have in common? For Year 5 students at The Armidale School, they are all avenues of inquiry that help understand what it means to share the planet.
Energy, food, water, insects and deforestation were the big ideas that groups of students explored in research projects that made up the school’s inaugural PYP Exhibition, which last week showcased an investigative unit work Year 5 students have undertaken as part of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program.
Under the overarching theme Sharing the Planet, groups used a transdisciplinary approach to investigate a particular topic, chose a senior staff member to mentor them on it, toiled collaboratively to create their exhibitions and presented their ideas to peers, families and teachers at the TAS Hoskins Centre yesterday.
For ‘the B Team’ that meant looking at why bees matter, how the increased demand of finite resources impacted on the global bee population, and what actions could can be taken to prevent insects becoming extinct.
“Part of our investigation included knowing what plants are important to bees, visiting the TAS ag farm and honey extractor, and tasting different types,” said William Gilpin.
“We also worked with the TAS gardener to make a pollination garden, and put together information leaflets about honey.”
Head of Junior School Mr Ian Lloyd said the showcase was a result of a dynamic new learning environment at the school.
“This expose is a first for TAS and is the culmination of independent learning using the IB PYP framework. A key component was the collaborative nature of their investigations where they all contributed in different ways, based on the type of learner they are,” he said.