Ames High Students Showcase Community Impact Projects

Ames High Students Showcase Community Impact Projects

After researching the decline of native bee populations, Ames senior Max Eness and peers Jack Heikens, Moe Elsadig and Haley Williams set out to make a difference for bees in their local community.

After researching the decline of native bee populations, Ames senior Max Eness and peers Jack Heikens, Moe Elsadig and Haley Williams set out to make a difference for bees in their local community.

“Native bees are impacted a lot by the lack of prairie that we have in Iowa,” Eness said. “We used to have 85 percent of our land covered by prairie now it’s one-tenth of a percent.”

The group spoke with community members Wednesday evening about their project as part of an event held at the library in conjunction with presentations from other Ames seniors as part of a class project.

This year, a group of 52 Ames seniors enrolled in the Bluestem Institute, a “school within a school” that meets for a three-period block every day, focusing on project-based learning around the issue of water quality and the environment, led by teachers Joe Brekke, Mike Todd and Chad Zmolek.

As part of the Bluestem Institute, the students had to, in groups, create community impact projects, and Eness said his group’s goal was to plant pollinator gardens around Ames to help provide the necessary environment for bees to thrive.

“Pollinator gardens are essentially a garden with plants planted that try and replicate prairies,” he said.

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