The Cochise County Superintendent of Schools office and New Crossroads Academy teamed up to create a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) garden for students, teachers and the community to enjoy.

On Tuesday, 13 students from the Skills Private Academy spent an hour learning about bats and their impact on the environment. They then planted agave and other plants in the garden. The purpose of the project was to create a safe haven for bats.

The children benefit because its a hands on experience for them,” said Skills Private Academy Nicole Johnston. “Learning is also outside of the classroom and it helps empower them that we cant we dont always need to just support the Earth with our academic brains. We can also put our hands to it an really make a huge difference in the world.

Ben Reyna, principal at New Crossroads Academy, says the plants are a first step in creating a space for science. Cochise County is part of the migration path for bats, which is why they wanted to create a space for them. Reyna said they have plans to add bat boxes so they have a place to say and video cameras so students and the community can view their visits and how often the bats come.

It was a blast,” Reyna said of the morning planting event. “I love how excited they were about it. I loved how much fun they were having. Having come from a classroom myself I loved being able to help them a little bit.

The funding for the garden comes from different grants and is an ongoing project. Renya said they are hoping to add fruits and vegetables to the garden that students and members of the community can take if they need to.

Teachers can contact the Cochise County Superintendents Office if they would like to use the space, located next to their Sierra Vista office.