Students at Boys' Latin engage in science learning that is connected to local and global communities. Supporting our curriculum are two projects--an apiary and community garden--that provide students with hands-on learning about  living things, food, and human influences on ecosystems.

Bee Club
In 2014, a group of students led by Dr. Bungard joined the Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild and developed plans for an apiary next to the community garden. A mentor from the guild, Matt Feldman, guided the students through the process of setting up three hives. Mr. Feldman first visited the school as part of the monthly Science Speaker Series. The Bee Club plans to gather honey and wax from the hives over time to share with members of the school community. Students are learning about the complex lives of bees and the ways in which bees are important parts of global food systems.

Community Garden
Students and staff created a community garden next to the school. The garden is tended by students in the AP Environmental Science course. In the fall of 2013, students worked with Mr. Reynolds (English department) and Dr. Kaur (science department) to set up the boxes. Mr. Reynolds acquired most of the supplies through a generous donation from Home Depot. Students use the site as a space for learning and exploration. In the spring of 2014, students gathered herbs form the garden and gave them out to teachers.

DreamTree Partnership with Agnes Irwin School and Khumjung School

On Tuesday, May 22, students were joined by Mindy Maslin from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for a tree planting ceremony. Students and Mr. Smith planted a juniper tree in partnership with the Agnes Irwin School, an all-girls school in suburban Philadelphia, and the Khumjung School, a co-educational school in Nepal.

Each school planted a juniper tree, which grows well in high altitudes and therefore is suited for Nepal. The Boys' Latin tree is named the "Khumjung Tree." As part of the project, students will monitor the tree's growth and share data amongst the partner schools. Data about the tree's growth and health will support themes of matter and energy in the first-year science course at Boys' Latin. Students will also track pH and levels of various elements and compounds in the soil around the tree. 

Additionally, students and teachers will have an opportunity to communicate and collaborate with students from our partner schools about issues of sustainability, ecology, geography, and peace.

The project was created by Mr. Jeffrey Harlan and Ms. Sandy Crow, middle school English teachers at the Agnes Irwin School.

All three schools planted trees on May 22 as part of ENO Tree Planting Day, an international initiative to plant 100,000,000 trees by 2017. The project also supports Mayor Nutter and the City of Philadelphia's commitment to plant 300,000 trees by 2015 and the Plant One Million project led by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society that aims to plant 1 million trees in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society contributed to support the purchase of our tree and to guide the planting process.

 Pictured left: Site before tree planting