dr martens 1461 brown Bates Middle School in Annapolis mixes mosquitoes with art
Those details will be added by Bates students using recycled materials that might have otherwise gathered water, and then, mosquito larvae. As for the rebar statue, it was provided by the Entomological Society of America.
Salvaged cans will form the insect’s exoskeleton. Salvaged bottle caps which can hold enough water for a mosquito to lay eggs will cover the insect’s eyes. And the insect’s wings will be covered by hundreds of two by two inch transparency sheets, each decorated by the students.
If there was any doubt, the goal of the Bates Mosquito Project is to teach the students about mosquitoes. Science chair Kim O’Connor said they also wanted to involve every student at the school in the art project.
“It will help a lot of our students show their creative side,
” she said.
Society Vice President Bob Peterson, a professor of entomology at Montana State University, said the mosquito is one of the world’s most dangerous animals because of the pathogens it can transmit diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and Zika.
“The mosquito is responsible for more people dying in world history than any other organism,” Peterson said.
Educating people about the mosquito is becoming more important, Peterson said a warming climate means more mosquitoes.
“Period. End of story,
” Peterson said.
The sculpture of the mosquito arrived at the school in December, and teachers and children will have it fully decorated in time for its display at the society’s Eastern Branch conference, to be held at the Westin Annapolis Hotel March 17 19. The society raised about $5,000 to pay for the rebar frame.
Kids have shown excitement for the project, bringing in recycled materials with enthusiasm. Ideas for how to decorate the sculpture were also student generated.
In sixth grade, students need to master the difference between living and non living ecosystems,
science teacher Heather Carter said.
“Mosquitoes carry viruses, so it’s a nice bridge to teach them about living things,” she said.
Carter had her students explore what might happen in a world without mosquitoes, where they learned about insect’s role as pollinators.
In past years students have learned about mosquitoes as part of that unit, O’Connor said. But the project offered a chance to try out strategies.
This year Carter’s students completed a “blackout poetry” project in which they created poems about mosquitoes by crossing out words in blocks of text from both fiction and non fiction.
In a school wide arts integration lesson on Jan. 26, every student in the school drew a pattern of lines on two by two inch transparency squares,
which were modge podged onto plexiglass wings.
“Because they’re working with wings, I thought it’d be great to use the element of lines,” art integration specialist Tayler Grimail said.
“It looks like a beautiful mosaic, and they’re absolutely stunning,” O’Connor said.
Later this year eighth grade math students will tally up the volume of the recycled materials to determine how much mosquito breeding ground the project has removed from the environment.
Once the sculpture is complete. it will be displayed at the Eastern Branch’s conference March 18. It will be unveiled in its new home, near the front of the school,
on March 19.