Mrs. Fernandes Attends Research for Educators Workshop
Grier Science Teacher Mrs. Christine Fernandes attended a Research for Educators Workshop at Penn State University. Working with groups from PSU’s College of Education and the Center for Pollinator Research, the week-long workshop helped teachers like Mrs. Fernandes learn about pollinator biology, ecology, and conservation. While she learned about pollinator science first-hand, Mrs. Fernandes also engaged in discussions about incorporating these techniques and experiences in the science classroom at Grier.
After working Penn State Master Gardener Pam Ford, Mrs. Fernandes says “We’re hoping to install an official pollinator garden and Monarch Way-Station at Grier to get the whole Grier community working towards a solution to the crisis and develop good stewardship practices.” Mrs. Fernandes is referring to the worldwide decline in pollinators due to multiple factors that include; pesticide/herbicide use, habitat loss and destruction, disease and viruses, and the lack of proper nutrition due to the proliferation of invasive and cultivar species rather than native plants.
Penn State News published a detailed article titled “Cross-Pollination Occurs Between Educators and Researchers at Workshop” detailing the Workshop, the experiences of the program participants, and the future of the program. Mrs. Fernandes was also privy to exciting news about plans for the Penn State Arboretum & Botanic Gardens. She learned that developers of this local greenspace are working with scientists to design an optimally beneficial pollinator garden on site. When completed, it will feature 351 species of plants and cover four acres, making it the largest pollinator garden in the world.
Mrs. Fernandes captured photos from the Penn State Arboretum & Botanic Garden, the Penn State Apiary, the Snetsinger Butterfly Garden in Tudek Park, and a pollinator research plot near the site of Ag Progress Days.