Avalon Intermediate buzzes with the sound of Massey collaboration

Student looks at bees in the Apiscope at Avalon Intermediate

Bees in the Apiscope at Avalon Intermediate.

An observational classroom beehive at Avalon Intermediate School has inspired students to turn their learnings into music and poetry.

Massey University researchers Professor Anne Noble and Associate Professor Tracy Riley have been working with students and teachers at the school in the first New Zealand research project of its kind.

Over the last two school terms, students have been working with Massey music, photography and educational specialists to create an album of songs, an illustrated lyrics book, music videos and a documentary reflecting on what they have learned through observing the bees in their classroom Apiscope (observation hive).

The Apiscope Buzz project uses observational processes for learning about bees and the life of the colony, with students using creative arts to express their scientific knowledge. A local beekeeper has been working with the students to help with fact-checking and development of understandings.

The students’ album, Yellow Black Nation, was recorded with Massey University music lecturer and artist Warren Maxwell and graduates of the School of Music. Students worked with teacher and music video education expert Paascalino Schaller on videos for the songs, and Professor Noble and Massey photography graduate Chevron Hassett to create and illustrate a lyrics book with their own photographs. The songs express their learning about bees, and messages about conservation, sustainability and the importance of bees to our world.

Read more about the project at massey.ac.nz

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa