Senator Square: Honors biology students interact with nature at Carson High School
December 9, 2017
Editor's note: The following was written by Emma Doty, Christian Garcia-Perez, and Edwin Vasquez, honors biology students at Carson High School.
Students share their thoughts on CHS' three native habitat gardens as these gardens help attract wildlife, expand learning, and benefit the environment. There are more than 180 native plants growing and thriving on the CHS campus, and these flowers are sure to attract pollinators such as hummingbirds, monarchs, ladybugs, and bees, and there are also some trees in the gardens for birds to nest in or for birdhouses to be hanged. When students visit the garden, they learn about plant cycles and how to care for them. Since birds and bugs like to visit the gardens, students also get to observe these animals to learn more about them because these gardens, fortunately, have a positive impact on the environment. The plentiful plants help reduce carbon dioxide in the air and release oxygen as well as remove chemicals from the water in the ground. The trees and plants also absorb noise, which reduces noise pollution, allowing students to study undisturbed. As the school years progress, students modify the gardens in numerous ways adding new types of plants such as milkweed, golden currants, wild roses, and many more. Plants such as milkweed help attract unique pollinators, especially monarch butterflies. Recently, students set up insect houses in order to bring in more beneficial insects. They have also been able to attract a great selection of birds like Brewer's blackbirds, American robins, and goldfinches. A new project students are working to facilitate are bat homes. It is important to foster a love of nature in young people as classroom learning can become tedious, so it is not always the most effective learning tool. For example, learning about nature has a great bodily-kinesthetic interest impact through hands-on experiences. Plus, it is interesting to watch birds and wildlife check out the gardens. In 2011, the Bordewich-Bray Elementary School Green Team took to the streets, green-clad, and on bikes. They called out to the captive Nevada Day Parade audience to "Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!" The installation of the gardens in front of CHS show teacher Julie Koop's students heard that message. It is up to everyone to keep the planet alive for future generations, and the gardens are a huge step in the right direction.
The CHS B4 period Honors Government class participated in the "Help a Mother Out" diaper drive during November. Help a Mother Out works to improve baby and family well-being by increasing access to diapers for families in need. A family's access to a reliable supply of clean diapers reduces risk of infectious disease outbreaks, improves babies' health and comfort, and enables them participation in early care and educational programs. As part of the Honors Government citizenship curriculum, students picked this community project to fulfill the "giving back to the community" component. Diapers and wipes were donated to the Ron Woods Family Resource Center in Carson City. As per the proven support of the community of Carson City, CHS teacher Angila Golik and her class thank the following for making the diaper drive a reality by allowing filling bins to be placed for donations: NDOT, NDOE, Carson Aquatic Center, First United Methodist Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Salvation Army, and Dollar Tree on North Carson Street.
CHS Future Business Leaders of America held a raffle of two Dutch Bros. gift cards. The cards were donated by Dutch Bros. to raise money for the seven students injured in the car accident in Carson City on Nov. 9. More than $640 was raised through the raffle which was donated to the victims and their families. Congratulations to raffle winners Baily Jacobs and Drew Davalos, and a big thanks to Dutch Bros. for donating the gift cards.
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Phil Brady is an English teacher at CHS.