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We were very fortunate to receive funding from the UBC Chapman and Innovation grant to conduct a project called Science to Art – START. START is a traveling museum project that allows elementary and secondary school students to design and create exhibits through intergenerational collaboration with artists in the community. This year the exhibits highlight a very important local environmental issue – the plight of pollinators, and will be displayed at ArtStarts in Schools gallery from June 22nd till November 17th,, 2017. The exhibit will then move to Beaty Biodiversity Museum from December 2017-May 2018.


Thanushi, our Education Coordination, partnered with three schools from the Edible Garden Project and two schools from the Intergenerational Landed Learning Project to promote environmental education in classrooms in a really fun and exciting way!

Elena Bodnaruk’s grade three class from Waverley Elementary put their thinking caps on and came up with the idea to design hexagonal art flaps with pollinator information underneath. The students worked in groups of 3-4 to research different pollinator groups (bees, wasps, beetles, butterflies, moth, flies, hummingbirds). During the week of May 23-26, the students worked with Art Mentors to create their hexagonal flaps, a video montage of why pollinators are important and pollinator protector mud bowl (You can’t eat money!) art pieces. Waverley also came up with our event slogan idea – “Pollinators are the key to life”.



Gordon Bell’s grade three class from Edith Cavell Elementary also worked in groups of 3-4 to research different pollinators. On the week of May 29-June 2nd, students designed and constructed seven informative shadow boxes with the help of Art Mentors. An assortment of materials were used ranging from clay, paint and glitter. They also worked on the banner with the slogan from Waverley.

Kevin Smith’s grade four class from Holy Trinity Elementary worked on three shadow boxes that highlighted pollinators, environmental dangers to pollinators and what they would miss if pollinators disappeared. A popular material to use was clay!

Sutherland Secondary’s approach to the project was constructing a large, interactive mason bee house. Cynthia Bunbury and the Garden club came up with the design, assembled the structure and spent hours rolling little mason bee nest tubes to be part of the exhibit. Dorothy Foster’s art classes painted beautiful pollinator art cards to hang off the side of the mason bee house. Mark Fortin’s metal works class assembled really cool metal pollinators and Willem Mikkers generously offered his shop space for the construction of the mason bee house. Informative scrolls were designed by Cynthia Bunbury’s French class and the Garden club, as well by four elementary classes from Highlands Elementary.

Overall 300 students, 20 Art Mentors and 11 teachers came together to research different pollinator groups, their life history characteristics, environmental risks and ways we can help pollinators.


The START exhibit opening at ArtStarts gallery on June 22nd from 6-8pm was also a huge success with around 150 visitors who brought their family and friends to celebrate an evening of creativity. Visitors were able to look at insects up close and create their own pollinator, as well as work on more informative scrolls for the mason bee house sculpture. Potluck catering prepared some delicious pollinator themed food for us and the Honey Shoppe on Main Street baked their famous almond honey cakes. Art Mentors and students were even able to take home little jars of honey as a thank you for their hard work. The most magical part of evening was when everyone in the gallery sang “Let Them Bee.”


This project would not have been possible without the amazing support of:

  • Enthusiastic students of Elena Bodnaruk (Waverley), Gordon Bell (Edith Cavell), Cynthia Bunbury (Sutherland), Dorothy Foster (Sutherland), Willem Mikkers (Sutherland), Mark Fortin (Sutherland), Kevin Smith (Holy Trinity), Jennifer Sherlock (Highlands), Ann Mitchell (Highlands), Cheryl Fary (Highlands), Erika Quee (Highlands)
  • Our fabulous Art Mentors: Sholeh M., Fabian Burkes, Sara Galley, Heidi Nategaal, Sharlene Laros, Olusha W., Jawad, Mathias Paganelli, Shelley, Miriam Gill, Gillian Hurtig, Paul Morris, Hannah Visty, Fiona Walsh, Shane W.
  • EGP and ILLP staff
  • ArtStarts in Schools
  • Beaty Biodiversity Museum
  • And of course, the UBC Chapman and Innovation Grant.