The Latest Buzz About Bats
What do high school seniors and first graders have in common? It might surprise you!
You may remember last year Culver High School S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) class designed and built a hydroelectric powered paddle-wheel that will power a portion of the Crooked River Campground. Well they did not stop there.
This year teacher Mike Dove, Culver High School, is leading his AP biology class into the dark and mysterious world of bats. Mr. Dove invited me to be a guest speaker on local bats for his class. What an amazing group of students! With their new found knowledge the seniors were inspired to create their own power points to share; then took a trip to Culver Elementary School and visited Mrs. Dix’s first grade class. Peer teaching is an amazing way to learn about how cool bats are. This is the first of several times the two classes will work together. Next, the first graders will visit Culver High School wood shop and build bat houses; which will ultimately be hung at The Cove Palisades State Park near the Crooked River Campground.
There are more than 1,000 different species of bats in the world, the only mammal capable of self flight; but these misunderstood and often feared creatures have been vilified by western cultures for hundreds of years. Over seventy percent of bats are insectivores and save humans millions of dollars annually from crop damage, prevent the unhealthy spread of West Nile Virus, provide organic fertilizer for gardeners, pollinate plants that we depend on for medicine and so much more. Central Oregon is home to thirteen species of bats, the most common is the Little Brown Bat (myotis lucifugus). MYTH BUSTER: Bats are blind? False – They actually see quite well and they use Ecolocation to find their prey.
As the students continue their journey, I will be sharing it with you. Please follow along and visit the new bat area in the park late next spring.