Just in time for spring, students in the Gladstone High School construction program are building greenhouses and mason bee houses for local gardeners.
"In my beginning construction tech class, these projects are a practical way for students to learn to safely use power tools," said teacher Mike Leone. "They also learn how to read blueprints, how to work with a team and the all-important 'measure twice, cut once' rule."
Made from corrugated, UV-rated plastic, each greenhouse has built-in shelving. A thermostat regulates temperature by running a fan and heater system. Students have completed and sold two greenhouses so far, but plan to build four more by spring term.
Students are using recycled fence boards to build mason bee houses. They will install 10 of them at the Gladstone Nature Park as part of a pollinator-hill project funded by a grant from Metro.
Remaining bee houses are being sold to community members for $25, providing habitat for the insects, which are needed to pollinate gardens and agricultural crops. Some students will choose to purchase bee boxes they made.
"Construction is my favorite class, and this project has been super fun," said freshman Mason Bell. "Building bee houses is really important because bees are gradually going extinct and we need to help them. I hope we can make a difference."
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